Universiteit Leiden

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Scrum enhances learning in chemistry education

Context-based learning has been implemented in secondary chemistry education. Hans Vogelzang, PhD at ICLON, reseached whether Scrum methodology might support creating context-based lessons. Scrum appears to be beneficial to learning outcomes. Defence on 10 November.

Context-based learning

Context-based learning environments have been designed and implemented in secondary chemistry education to address several problems, including passive involvement of students and perceived irrelevance of chemistry. However, the implementation of context-based learning environments turns out to be challenging. One reason is that students often experience these learning environments as rather complex. Moreover, they are expected to plan and monitor their learning process themselves.

Scrum in the classroom

The thesis Scrum in secondary chemistry education: a methodology to support teachers and to scaffold students explored the question whether Scrum methodology might function as an appropriate scaffold to enhance students’ learning and to support teachers in context-based learning environments. Scrum methodology is a project management framework which consists of specific ceremonies and artefacts to monitor the workflow of complex projects in businesses in and industries. The Scrum characteristics were adjusted to the specific situation of a context-based learning environment. 

Thesis 'Scrum in secondary chemistry education'

Enhanced learning

The results show that students participating in Scrum classes outperformed students participating in the control condition with regard to both cognitive learning outcomes and metacognitive learning outcomes. Moreover, the impact of Scrum methodology on students’ learning increased when teachers were able to apply a rich repertoire of didactical and pedagogical expertise. 

Scrum visualises students’ learning progress and enables teachers to adjust their teaching to the specific needs of students. The findings provide evidence that the implementation of a project-management framework in an educational context scaffolds and strengthens students in their learning process, which in turn is beneficial for learning outcomes. 

Education and business

Schools are looking for methodology that supports students in taking resposibility for their leaning process. This research shows that secondary education can learn from successful methods used in business. Business can eventually profit, because students are altready used to this systematic way of working.

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