Magazine / Agile Software Factory Dec 23, 2021 11:15:00 AM

The “student journey” through digital education: why agile development is a winner

The traditional concept of the so-called "student journey" in the university environment has been revolutionized by the pandemic. Beta 80 Group, by virtue of its historic collaboration with two of the most prestigious universities in Italy, redesigned the "student journey" based on the changes dictated by the legislation on social distancing, putting in place the necessary solutions to guarantee full continuity to academic activities. This real reengineering of learning processes has been possible because Beta 80 Group's core is an Agile Software Factory, as a technological partner able to support any organization - including universities - in the implementation of innovative resources and tools. These meet needs that are contingent or projected over the medium and long term. A feature that has allowed universities supported by Beta 80 Group to win the most important challenge they had to face last year: to ensure an effective student journey in digital teaching.


Agile and design thinking, to define the new "student journey"

In the academic context, 2020 offered the complex scenario of a remote "student journey". Not being able to carry that in person is still partly happening in 2021, because just adopting an e-learning platform to cover the whole experience of a student facing an institution, is not enough. In this sense, the agile application development methodology that Beta 80 Group pursues is combined with the most advanced design thinking approaches. Design thinking incorporates a user-centric key idea, based on the actual use of technology by the end-user. This is why the Beta 80 Group teams are multidisciplinary and include agile system specialists and UX (User Experience) designers. From their intersection is developed to what is now called agile UX, which includes the best of the world's most popular software development together with the best techniques to verify how satisfactory a person's experience is in relation to the product or service received.


How the "student journey" develops from identification

In the specific case of a "student journey", the work of Beta 80 Group started from the identification not only of the students' needs but also of all the other actors involved along the learning itinerary, from teachers to the administrative staff. These went beyond the mere need to attend lectures – both in streaming and on-demand: students had to count on the possibility to take exams, to speak with professors and assistants, to access the secretarial services, to meet colleagues to discuss and study together, to speak to a help desk even remotely. And these needs can not be frozen at a lockdown phase. However long this pandemic crisis is destined to be overcome, what is needed implies a hybrid "student journey" design. Hence, for example, the provision of automatic mechanisms to manage the quota of admissions to the university, so as to allow a smooth alternation between on-site and remote activities. This may possibly be the new face of University in the next normal.


The importance of domain competence together with agile

The creation of infrastructures and applications to support the "student journey" requires additional expertise, associated with skills on the agile method, which is domain competence. Beta 80 Group quickly implemented solutions on the subject due to its in-depth knowledge of the university world, as well as the dynamics of this type of organization. Today user experience design combined with agile methodology seeks to continuously improve different physical and digital paths, obviously starting with that of consumers (customer journey).

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