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Development of a Virtual Teaching Assistant System Applying Agile Methodology

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Systems Engineering Education and K-12

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.457.1 - 25.457.19



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Paper Authors

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Pablo Biswas Texas A&M International University


Runchang Lin Texas A&M International University

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Runchang Lin received a Ph.D. in mathematics and a M.A. in statistics from Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., and a M.S. in computational mathematics and a B.S. in mathematics from Tongji University, Shanghai, China. He is an Associate Professor of mathematics at Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, and has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., in spring 2009. Lin’s research interest is in numerical analysis and applied mathematics. He has published 17 articles in numerical analysis and education in peer reviewed journals.

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Ramesh Hanumanthgari Texas A&M International University

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Sri Bala Vojjala

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DEVELOPMENT OF A VIRTUAL TEACHING ASSISTANT SYSTEM APPLYING AGILE METHODOLOGY ABSTRACTThis research describes a case study of a project to develop a web-based Virtual TeachingAssistant System (ViTAS) for college students and instructors. ViTAS, a digital homeworkassignments submission and grading system, is an innovative idea to provide homeworkassignments grading system for the instructors and to provide an interactive learningenvironment outside the lecture period for the students. Using ViTAS, students will be able tosubmit the homework assignments online, to engage in anonymous homework review, and todiscuss with their peers. The idea of students grading the homework assignments of their peers isvery beneficial, because during the process of grading other’s homework, the students get theopportunity to learn/review their own work/mistakes. Also, the instructors finalize all grades andpost them on the website to confirm the students’ learning activities. In particular, this projectfocuses on the Agile software development process, which is a group of software developmentmethodologies based on iterative, interactive, and incremental development, where requirementsand solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams;i.e., software development and user-experience design of the ViTAS. Also, the researchconsiders that the teams are working cooperatively rather than collaboratively and thiscooperation is implemented via articulation work, meaning that the developers had additionaltasks to ensure that the user-experience design is accomplished. Overall, the paper provides aninsight into a culture where developers and user experience designers work together, addsevidence to support the Agile principle of self-organizing teams and recommends the recognitionof interaction tasks as valuable work in Agile software development.Key words: Agile methodology, virtual teaching assistant, user experience design.

Biswas, P., & Lin, R., & Hanumanthgari, R., & Vojjala, S. B. (2012, June), Development of a Virtual Teaching Assistant System Applying Agile Methodology Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21215

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