Sprints are often associated with sports and agile methodology. You may have asked, what does it mean to use this strategy in my Bootcamp or online course? Learning Sprint helps teams to learn faster while not compromising the quality of learning.
Because technology is moving fast, we should also learn faster to keep up. Let’s explore how you can use Learning Sprint in designing your Bootcamp, online courses, training, etc.
What is a Learning Sprint?
First, let's define the word sprint. Google says it’s an act or short spell of running, cycling, or swimming at full speed. It’s a quick and fast activity where we aim to be at the end goal for a short period.
Nowadays, Sprints are often associated with scrum or agile. Atlassian defined Scrum sprints as a short, time-boxed period when a scrum team works to complete a set amount of work. Since tech is moving so fast, tech teams should move and iterate faster too.
Although learning sprints are related to Scrum sprints, we won’t dwell so much on that. Apparently, different industries--not just in tech--have to use the sprint model to perform and execute better.
After defining sprints in two different contexts, let’s now define what Learning Sprint is. Data Central defines it as a collaborative, short, fast-paced learning endeavor as part of a greater, agile-oriented team effort.
It’s an approach to fast-paced learning often with others, not alone.
Where Learning Sprint is mostly used?
Tech Bootcamps use Learning Sprints to prepare students on how tech teams work in the real world. These Bootcamps include coding, data science, machine learning, UX design, artificial intelligence, and even cybersecurity that works with Scrum, agile methodology, and technologies.
Agile companies use learning sprints in their training. It’s very handy since they already know the concept of Scrum sprints. They also used Learning Sprints to train new employees to adapt to the concept of agile work.
The Teaching Sprints by Simon Breakspear is a popular method where teachers absorb the sprint concept. Simon’s team developed evidence-informed teaching strategies to make teaching still effective for overloaded educators.
The three processes they used are Prepare-Sprint-Review. So far, it works well. It helps overloaded educators to still enhance their expertise despite the amount of work given to them.
Self-paced or group learning
You can apply learning sprints to your own learning program or your group's learning program. Try TheLearningSprint.com. If you want to learn a skill faster, they are your guy!
They provide a comprehensive 5-phase adaptive process to be really good at something. After you take the course, you have a chance to facilitate and transfer your skills to others.
After tackling the different fields where sprints are used such as tech, teaching, and learning. Let’s now focus on why and how you should use this strategy in your Bootcamp.
The Benefits of Learning Sprints to your Students
Bootcamps are about transformative learning. Let's explore the three main benefits of using the Learning Sprint for your student's transformation.
Students can learn skills faster
Bootcamps are rigorous training to level up students’ skills in the game. Imagine if you add the learning sprint approach in Bootcamps, the agility of the training will be intensive. Students can gain these skills not in a year, but in 12 weeks.
Students learn to build real-world projects
If tech teams use Scrum sprints to build real-world projects, in their workplace. Why don't you use sprints to leverage your Bootcamp and prepare your students for the real world?
Bootcamp’s main goal is to transform the career of its students, helping them bridge from point A to point B.
Oftentimes, if we design the Bootcamp with real-world scenarios, case studies, and simulations, it prepares students to act and think as if they are in the real workforce.
Students can collect portfolios while learning
Learning sprints in curriculum design are associated with Project-based Learning. The sprint result is often projects and presentations, which are used by students as their portfolios.
How to design your Bootcamp using this Strategy?
Learning sprints at full speed need adequate preparation. If you don’t allot time to prepare, it might fail. There won’t be any rewards in exchange for your effort and time. So what do you need to prepare?
Start with context and objectives.
First, define the scope of your learning. What are your students learning in this sprint? Brainstorm a prompt, a topic, or a real-world problem.
In most cases, you won’t get 100% achievement in your goal so don’t be too ambitious. Lastly, trust the process and look at the progress.
What approach is best for your Bootcamp? Is it hybrid, self-paced, or pure live learning?
In most cases, Sprint is a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous learning. Try the hybrid cohort-based course model for example. After identifying your approach, collect content materials that can be used in your learning sprints.
Unlike the Scrum sprints, learning sprints still need theoretical discussions, activities, group work, etc. Have a meeting with your instructors, mentors and course operators. Discuss with them the new structure of your Bootcamp.
Team and Timeline.
Learning sprints are highly collaborative.
You can maximize its benefits by grouping your students by 5-8 members, not too large, not too small. It’s also timebound so identify your timeline per sprint. Most Bootcamps have 2 to 6 sprints and sprints don’t take longer than 2 weeks. That’s the average.
The entire Bootcamp can last long for 4 to 12 weeks.
In Scrum sprints, they practice daily standup meetings to align with each other.
For learning sprints, you may also adopt this practice. It’s highly advisable to create a private community for your students for easy communication. Slack is the most common app for this.
However, you can test out others tools such as Teachfloor which they offer community features besides the learning platform. It’s all-in-one so you don’t need to jump into different apps which can save you so much time.
From my experience, we designed our Bootcamp with 4 learning sprints.
Each sprint lasts for 2 weeks and there’s a one-week break in between. Every sprint has a topic, objectives, live learning sessions, group work, and last is the final presentation.
We defined our sprint outcome as a project presentation where teams will pitch their final work to everyone including our invited guests. Then from there, guests will give them constructive feedback.
In short, we incorporate the project-based learning approach to make it more realistic and prepare them for real-world projects.
Sprints are iterative.
Feedback analysis and execution are critical.
Don’t forget to summarize peer and instructor reviews, plus the audience feedback during their presentation in their sprint review. Allot a time for group reflection and self-reflection on where and how they can improve.
If you are still curious about how it’s done, Teachfloor offers course templates for free once you sign in to our platform. You can access these course templates to guide you in designing your course curriculum.
Some templates are designed with learning sprints. Check it out to know what I’m saying.
If you’re using this strategy for the first time, give yourself and your team time to adjust, experiment, and iterate You can also ask for advice from a tech person who does Sprint Scrum.
Basically, Learning Sprints integrate the concept of Scrum sprints in Bootcamps. That’s why learning becomes transformative.
Also, check How to Start an Online Bootcamp Business if you haven't started yet.
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