Drawing on pedagogical case studies, we explore how a common project-management framework used in industry supports learning in writing classrooms. The framework, called Agile Writing, forms a usable bridge between learning in academic settings and working in organizations. Our Agile Writing model is based on Scrum, an agile framework developed by software developers. In Agile Writing, students work in cross-functional teams in which they create both individual writing and team-written documents. Specific Agile Writing components give teams a chance to reflect on goals and achievements and to monitor progress on specific requirements and tasks. Those components enable instructors to measure individual contributions to team projects and to monitor team progress as teams pursue their goals.
We posit Agile Writing as a usable framework for instructors who have formerly rejected team learning because of challenges to measuring individual effort. In this presentation, we introduce and share our experience using Agile Writing in multiple writing studies courses––including first-year writing and senior-level technical communication courses––by referring to the empirical findings gained from surveys, participatory observations, and qualitative interviews with students in these courses. Based on our findings and classroom experience while piloting and developing Agile Writing over three semesters, we offer a set of specific guidelines for implementing Agile Writing in classrooms, including best practices involving project management technology in the writing process.
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