Teaching university students Kanban with a collaborative board game

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Kanban is a workflow management method especially suitable for managing continuous software engineering work. We attempted to teach Kanban and lean thinking in a software project management course in Aalto University with a collaborative Kanban board game. Our goal was to measure if the learning goals of the class were reached and to study the student's perceptions of the game. Data was collected from two subsequent classes in 2014 and 2015. Quantitative data was collected with questionnaires and analysed descriptively and statistically. Qualitative data was collected from 57 learning diaries. The students perceived they had learned substantially from the game. They also evaluated the game very positively. However, the qualitative results and the measured learning indicated that the learning goals were only partially reached. The enjoyable game experience did not fully translate into effective learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering Companion
Number of pages480
ISBN (Electronic)9781450342056
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Software Engineering - Austin, United States
Duration: 14 May 201622 May 2016
Conference number: 38


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Engineering
Abbreviated titleICSE
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Software engineering education
  • Adult education
  • Software development methods


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