Asee peer logo

Using Agile and Active Learning in Software Development Curriculum

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Software Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Division

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Ben Tribelhorn University of Portland

visit author page

Ben Tribelhorn teaches Computer Science at the University of Portland. His research includes machine learning for chaos in Lorenz systems, dynamic obstacle avoidance algorithms for unmanned aerial vehicles, improving software engineering pedagogy, and ethical concerns in artificial intelligence.

visit author page


Andrew M. Nuxoll University of Portland

visit author page

Andrew began his career as a software engineer. Lately (since 2007) he has been teaching computer science at the University of Portland. He is an active researcher in artificial general intelligence and computer science pedagogy. He also loves playing bridge and being outdoors.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper introduces a novel implementation of an agile software development process within an active learning paradigm in a semester long junior-level course for Computer Science majors. This Software Engineering course is centered around experiential learning of the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) and applying a modified version of Scrum throughout. In order to mirror the real-world practice in a twice a week 85 minute class, we present many adjustments to Scrum for use in the classroom. We describe the implementation of the top six agile techniques used in industry (daily standup, sprint planning, retrospectives, sprint review, short iterations, planning poker) which focuses the learning experience on the most important components of agile development in addition to including top engineering practices used in industry. Additionally, we report extensions and variants for adapting this design to existing software engineering courses at other universities. Among these variants we propose adopting class-wide teams which is atypical at other universities for junior-level project courses.

Tribelhorn, B., & Nuxoll, A. M. (2021, July), Using Agile and Active Learning in Software Development Curriculum Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015