Experimental and rapid prototyping (of contents, ideas, products) using Sprint methodology : The Coventry University (CU) SPRINT is a Higher Education focused version of the Google Ventures Sprint. Designed by Jake Knappand John Zeratsky, the Google Ventures Sprint is used by companies and organisation across the globe to rapidly solve problems and develop products. The Google Ventures Sprint has been used to develop products such as Slack, Medium and Nest amongst others.
The CU SPRINT is designed to allow course teams the time, space, and resource to radicaly reconsider their product starting backwards from the ideal graduate. The CU SPRINT takes place over five solid days, and should provide completed course documentation, a prototype design, and stakeholder feedback by the end of the process.
The CU SPRINT in its fullest form takes five days. Alternative variations can last between one and four days depending on the complexity of the problem explored.
Level of difficulty
Lots of whiteboards or alternatives such as IdeaPaint, Post-it easel pads, Yellow 3-by-5 sticky notes, Black whiteboard markers, Green and red whiteboard markers, Black felt-tip pens, Printer paper, Masking tape, Small dot stickers (1⁄4-inch), Large dot stickers (3⁄4-inch), Time timers, Healthy snacks.
How does it work?
Day one of the CU SPRINT focuses on unpacking the course content and looking at what type of graduate you are aiming to produce. The day will empower you to deep-dive your ideas and develop a collective vision; and definition; of what success looks like. This will be vital when developing the structure and content of the course itself. Day one will explore the strengths and opportunities of the course, and provide the time to develop a set of six to ten comprehensive course learning outcomes to frame the development of the course structure.
At the end of the session you will be provided the opportunity to end the process if it isn’t working for what you need it to.
Day two builds on the initial ideas explored in day one. You will begin mapping out the chronology of the course and designing an assessment strategy. This is an opportunity for you to collectively design key elements of the curriculum, from modules, to themes, to assessment types. It is important for the entire course team to be involved in the design of the course structure.
Day three explores the market viability of the course and makes a start on the Course Specification documentation. Collectively, the you will develop a mock website or prospectus, in the process considering what the unique selling point of the course is and how you can communicate it to potential students. They will also start working on the course documentation paperwork, producing the introduction and ethos based on the last few days work.
Day four is centered around the formal documentation required for course approval. In real time, you’ll help the course team to collaboratively fill out the documentation, referring back to their initial ideas and the visual diagrams around the room. This is about communicating the ethos of the ideas to both the University and the wider public.
The optional fifth day of the process user-tests the course developed over the last week. Stakeholders from a range of backgrounds and experiences will pick apart your course design. Don’t be disheartened by this. It’s better to build in the feed-forward this provides to ensure the course design is solid and relevant when it goes to market.