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In this paper, an undergraduate capstone course in software engineering is described that not only exposes students to agile software development, but also makes it possible to observe the behavior of developers using Scrum for the first time. The course requires students to work as Scrum Teams, responsible for the implementation of a set of user stories defined by a project domain expert playing the role of the Product Owner. During the course, data on project management activities are collected in order to analyze the amount of work completed, compliance with the release and iteration plans, productivity, ability in effort estimation, and the like. The paper discusses the achievement of teaching goals and provides empirical evaluation of students' progress in estimation and planning skills. A summary of lessons learned and recommendations is given, reflecting the issues to be considered when teaching courses in agile software development. Surveys of students have shown that they were overwhelmingly positive about the course, indicating that the course fully met or even exceeded their expectations.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012