As with other listed methodologies, the term ‘agile learning’ has both general and specific interpretations. In the general sense, it refers to a learning environment and learning design that is highly responsive, adaptive and iterative.
Agile Learning is based on taking incremental steps, constant review and using an iterative design process, where trial and error, learning and doing occur. The Learning Guides will support the learning in the process and encourage repeated iterations. In an agile learning environment, the participants gain new competencies that are directly linked to their work context.
Agile learning in the more technical sense refers to the use of a method such as ‘Scrum’, which is a competence-oriented, iterative framework for managing product development. Often a development team will work towards the completion of a common goal, in an environment of close collaboration and frequent communication.
In the business environment, agile learning is described in the following way:
The key elements of Agile Learning in companies are:
- Teams of peers with similar development goals and a broad spectrum of backgrounds
- Coaches (internal / external) to support the learning process
- Company stakeholders (management, human resource department, etc.) represented by a sponsor (“product owner” in Scrum).
- Learning objectives which are broken down within the team into personal learning goals
- Working on tasks from the actual working context
- Sprints to reach sub goals / milestones. The coaches will closely guide this process.
The values of the Agile Schools Manifesto are as follows:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Meaningful learning over the measurement of learning
- Stakeholder collaboration over complex negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
There are three questions to ask and answer in a daily review:
- What did I accomplish yesterday?
- What will I do today?
- What obstacles are impeding my progress?
Agile Manifesto for Teaching and Learning: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1157450.pdf
Agile and Scrum in Education: http://www.bearpathconsulting.com/Main/AgileAndScrumInEducation
A variety of interpretations of agile learning are used. When it comes to a learner working on product development as an individual, then a modified version of agile based learning is helpful. At times, when a team development goal is established, the wider principles of agile learning are adopted.