The agile teaching/learning methodology and its e-learning platform

The Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology and Its e-Learning Platform

Table of Contents


The Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology (ATLM) is a teaching/learning methodology designed for higher-education based on the best practices and ideas from the field of software engineering and leveraging upon concepts from agile software methodologies. Although ATLM was designed using concepts borrowed from software engineering, the methodology itself can easily be applied to a wide variety of courses that might require agility in teaching and learning. This paper explains the objectives behind ATLM and the process architecture of the methodology. ATLM emphasizes agility, communication, and the learning process. The paper also presents the e-learning platform we have developed to support this ATLM approach to teaching/learning and the technologies behind this platform. The ATLM e-learning platform makes use of a number of modern collaboration and knowledge sharing technologies such as blogging, commenting, instant messaging, wiki, and XML RSS.


teaching methodology, learning methodology, e-learning platform 


Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology (ATLM) is a systematic approach to teaching/learning that has been successfully applied to the teaching of several Computer Science courses at the City University of Hong Kong for a number of years. Although used for teaching technology-related courses, we believe the methodology itself is general enough to be applied to other disciplines as well. Many other disciplines share the same teaching or learning objectives and goals that are promoted by ATLM. For example, teaching must be agile to cope with changing and diverse learning needs. Learning must be agile to cope with changing research, business, and technology environments. ATLM also encourages communication, knowledge sharing, and the learning process to nurture self-learning individuals. As the ATLM name implies, it is a methodology for teaching as well as a methodology for learning. Teachers need a well-defined approach to teaching just as much as a student needs a well-defined approach to learning. Teaching and learning, of course, go hand-in-hand. ATLM is a balanced methodology that supports both sides of the equation.

Software Engineering (SE) practitioners have long been well aware of the importance of adopting a well-defined methodology for software development [2]. Software development is a highly complex process and it makes sense to have well-defined steps, tasks, and plans as well as an understanding of the dynamics behind the whole development lifecycle and how to deal with expected and unexpected changes, problems, and risks.
It turns out that the teaching process is, in many ways, very similar to the software development process. It involves multiple parties with different objectives (sometimes conflicting), a very tight schedule to get things done, a fixed deadline, limited resources, and a lot of expected/unexpected changes along the way. Both the teaching and software development processes require detailed planning/scheduling, tracking, and management with continuous assessment and feedback from all parties. Getting a software project done correctly and on time is not easy. Making sure a course is taught properly and on schedule can also be challenging sometimes.

In the past decade, there has been a gradual trend towards favoring a set of “light-weighted” software development methodologies called agile processes [3]. These agile processes all follow the same principles as defined in the Agile Manifesto that basically states that for a project to be successful we should value individuals and their interactions rather than rigidly following a process, working software rather than documents and specifications, communication rather than contract negotiation, and responding to changes rather than just following a plan. Agile methodologies put people first and are self-adaptive.

We see a lot of parallels between agile software development and modern teaching and learning. Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology values students/teachers and their interactions rather than a particular approach to teaching/learning, working knowledge rather than rote-learning, communication rather than negotiation, and responding to changes rather than just following a schedule. ATLM emphasizes teacher-student communication and stresses the importance of being self-adaptive to cater to changing needs.


We have presented a novel teaching/learning methodology – the ATLM, which we have successfully used for teaching technical courses. The methodology focuses on the learning process to ensure students can continue to learn and update their knowledge even after the course has been completed. This is crucial for technical courses since technologies change so rapidly and what students learn in class may quickly become outdated. However, at the same time, we feel the motivations and objectives behind ATLM might also make it useful for non-technical course content as well. So far, we have applied ATLM and the e-learning platform for several Computer Science courses on programming and software engineering with very good responses from students, especially for part-time students who prefer Web-based interactions. We plan to continue to improve the e-learning platform and possibly.

About KSRA

The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.

KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.

Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.

The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.

FULL Paper PDF file:

The Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology and Its e-Learning Platform



Andy Hon Wai CHUN Department of Computer Science City University of Hong Kong Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Hong Kong SAR




The Agile Teaching/Learning Methodology and its e-Learning Platform

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In Lecture Notes in Computer Science – International Conference on Advances in Web-Based Learning, ICWL, Volume 3143/2004, Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, pp. 11-18

PDF reference and original file: Click here


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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.

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Maryam kakaei was born in 1984 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from Azad University of Arak.