Using Management Methods from the Software Development Industry to Manage Classroom-Based Research

Using Management Methods from the Software Development Industry to Manage Classroom-Based Research

Edd Schneider (SUNY Potsdam, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3619-4.ch019
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This case details a classroom-based research and development project facilitated with management approaches adapted from the software industry to the classroom, specifically a combination of the methods generally known as ‘Scrum’ and ‘Agile’. Scrum Management and Agile Software Development were developed in response to the difficulties of project management in the constantly changing world of technology. The on-going project takes a classroom of students and has them design and conduct research based on software tools they develop. An emphasis of the project is conducting research that involves all class members and makes students think critically about group management.
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Organization Background

New York State University at Malone began as a normal school for teacher training in 1815. Located approximately twenty-five miles south of the Canadian border, the University serves a large geographic region along the north side of the Adirondack Mountains. The project detailed here was done in the Instructional Communication Technology department located in NYSU Malone’s School of Education. The department has origins as an Educational Technology department, but has expanded to meet the needs of students interested in business training as well as media production. The size of the department ranges between 50-75 students with four full-time faculty. The department only offers Master’s degrees, specifically an M.S. in Education. Individual classes range from six to twenty students.

Students in NYSU Malone’s ICT department come from a variety of backgrounds, approximately two thirds of students are pursuing a degree for a career in schools. The other third are students seeking a Master’s degree to get employment in the private sector, in positions such as instructional designer or in media production. New York State requires teachers get a Master’s degree to receive permanent certification, thus about a quarter of the total students in the graduate program are new full time teachers. The other education students are pre-service teachers looking to complete their Master’s degree before they enter the job market. The program also hosts several students from China each year. Overall, the class is a diverse mix of students in terms of professional goals, national origin, and full-time or part-time student status.

The course that houses this project is titled ICT545: Design and Delivery of Professional Presentations, and is one of two potential options to fill a required part of the department’s degree program. The number of students in the course ranged in this case study from approximately eight to twenty. The goal of the course is to the teach students how to effectively use projected media to enhance public speaking. Since the course is at the graduate level it includes a research component, which is centered on data visualization.

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