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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Agile Meets Design Thinking by University of Virginia

3,262 ratings

About the Course

Despite everyone's good intentions, hard work and solid ideas, too many teams end up creating products that no one wants, no one can use, and no one buys. But it doesn't have to be this way. Agile and design thinking offer a different--and effective--approach to product development, one that results in valuable solutions to meaningful problems. In this course, you’ll learn how to determine what's valuable to a user early in the process--to frontload value--by focusing your team on testable narratives about the user and creating a strong shared perspective. This course is supported by the Batten Institute at UVA’s Darden School of Business. The Batten Institute’s mission is to improve the world through entrepreneurship and innovation:

Top reviews


Sep 8, 2020

I absolutely recommend this course for everyone who really wants to develop their skill or want to learn new skills. this amazing course will assist you to understand the user in a more strategic way.


Oct 23, 2017

Rich and well-structured content about Agile and Design Thinking, shows how to approach and include personas that will somehow be touched by the solution being created, and deliver outcomes to them.

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26 - 50 of 908 Reviews for Agile Meets Design Thinking


Sep 18, 2020

Although I've been a PMP certified project manager for many years, I am fairly new to Agile.

This was the 1st course I have taken in the Agile Development Specialization program.

The results of this class were everything I hoped for and more.

I gained a solid foundation in Agile.

Alex's teaching methods are clear, concise, and consistently presented throughout the course.

Each of the 4 module's video presentations with numerous whiteboard presentations followed by a final quiz really helped to learn the material. And there were checkpoints spread throughout the videos to reinforce what was learned. Additionally, Alex brought in guest video presenters several times in order to provide perspective on previously presented material.

The assignment at the end of the course, with peer reviews, was very very helpful in pulling together everything learned in the 4 modules.

Well done and highly recommended.

By Bejoice P

Jun 1, 2020

My initial feeling was this is a just another online video session. But when i went through the course, i could see questionnaires based on the topics discussed in every 3-4 minutes. This makes the session interesting and engaging. Assignments and quizzes at the end of the modules are fabulous ways to understand more concepts. Interview sessions with Billy and others where the real highlight as i could hear the concepts and their thought process. Skits & mock-ups of actual Agile meetings was really a good way to understand what should happen in stand-up session. Documents in resources of User Story and persona where really helpful and guiding factors to understand more on how to derive your Persona and problem statement. I had lot of learning and enjoyed the course.

By Marco D M

Nov 9, 2020

Excellent. Beside the course details, I appreciated the focus on people, how they feel, what motivates them, the references to the history of Agile. The style of Alex Cowan. I thought the final assignment to be boring, but it actually helps you a lot to digest, "crystallize", absorb the concept. In preparing it, you actuall are forced to apply the concept, to ask further questions and dig into the details. In reviewing, it is fun to see how other students have applied the framework and also spot errors and so it stimulates and foster your capability to understand if the Agile Design thinking concepts were properly applied.

By Ilya T

Jun 27, 2016

The value of this course exceeded my expectations. The course contains lots of useful, relevant and well-structured information related to Agile practices and Design Thinking. I knew about Agile before taking the course, and had been practicing it for some time in one way or another, but this course has greatly improved my understanding of basic principles of agile and, more importantly, taught me some very specific approaches and methodologies which can be applied to real-life projects.

I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in Agile or IT development in general.

By Deleted A

Jan 19, 2018

I really enjoyed this course, it was interesting and engaging. The presenter was excellent as is the course material. I liked that there was supporting information provided (like the videos with the leaders in Agile). I've been working in quasi agile environments for ages and can see how we can improve the process. Also, as I usually work as a Business Analyst, I can take away some of the techniques to use there even if the project is being run in the old style waterfall approach. The course works led nicely into the assessments. All in all, very well executed.

By amardeeep s j

Jun 19, 2017

I really enjoyed the course and it has enabled me to approach design and my work with a different approach. Alex, has done an amazing job with he coursework and simplified a difficult topic such that it can be understood and practiced by the masses.

The assignments have good examples and links to relevant subjects to make a holistic learning experience. I am abysmal with my fine art skills and cant draw, nevertheless whilst doing storyboard Alex provided the link to storyboard your story with ease and it helps a lot. It was my first storyboard and I enjoyed it.

By Uchenna M M

Jul 8, 2016

although this is my first time in learning about Design thinking, I'm happy to say that I love the way Coursera put together the specialization.

I am really excited about what I have learnt so far, most especially in this first week alone! for instance I got to here about the importance of instrumenting observation at the design and experimentation stage of a product and releasing in small batches as way of achieving expected outcome.

I look forward to more opportunities to learn more about Design Thinking under Coursera and her partner institutions.

Thank you


Apr 23, 2020

Lots of new things to learn, developing the art of organising information into practcal stories, that makes for creating product in manageable and testable batches is commendable accomplishment for me. The course will help me make sense in this VUCA world where clients also, most of the times, arenever clear on what they want, and the scope actualy develops over the project life cycle. This methodolgy will help retain the flexibility to change at the point of creation and testing the change to ensure the overall journey is in the right direction.

By Billy J S

Aug 22, 2021

Very insightful discussion of Agile. I found a lot of similarities with Design thinking, another topic of interest for me. The examples and exercises were also very practical and easy to follow. What really helped with the course were:

1) The bite-sized length of videos. The focus of each video was clear and easy to digest. There's enough break between topics to allow for reflection and processing.

2.) The occasional question and activity prompts helped a lot in deepening understanding of the lessons

Kudos to Alex Cowan for this course!

By Alexandru N

May 19, 2020

I am not new to Agile Development, but i had no idea what to expect about Design Thinking. Alex Cowan and this course helped me a lot not only with more than a basic understanding of what Design Thinking is and how to use it with Agile, but it also showed me how to improve my way of working with Agile itself. I am now appalled by the user stories i wrote up until this course. I strongly recommend Agile Meets Design Thinking to any Agile practitioner, Product Owner, Product Manager and Project Manager.

By Manoj J A

Jan 4, 2020

This course from the University of Virginia (UVA) of 5 weeks was amazing learning. The teachings from the instructor, serial entrepreneur and Stanford dropout Alex Cowan was so practical. It felt as if I was in his class- face to face - with the Coursera platform. The real-life project problems, the students shared, from SAP SCM by myself, Salesforce SFDC from Brazil, CRM case study from Switzerland, Auto Routing of breakdown service from Japan and many others was truly a global village of learning.


Mar 11, 2016

Its the best a an IT professional or product development expert has to keep handy with,as software and aspiring entrepreneur,it personally taught me a lot and changed the way i go about my development. If you ever want to have certainty over the market direction of your product,Agile Meets Design thinking might not be the only but is the best way to go.Thumbs up to the organizers of the course, it was not only well taught and delivered but fun and engaging.

By Julie L

Jan 21, 2020

As a tech marketing executive, I want to make sure our outbound messaging and campaigns are focused on the key strengths of our products and services so we can stand out in the marketplace. This class gives me the tools to build out messaging and campaigns on the various personas and user stories. Moreover, it gives me more credibility with the engineering team so they will feel more of a need to partner with marketing and bring us in early in the process.

By Rizwan U H C

Aug 17, 2019

A very well structured course that enabled me to get the deep dive into what is agile and design thinking. Must appreciate if you could please add slide of take home that is crux of lecture at the end of each session. In actual when you are learning all alone you can have different ways to perceive things so in order to keep the user confined and to align his thoughts with what the teacher taught we must have main points of each session at the end. thanks

By Sean H

Mar 18, 2020

My first time using Coursera. In many ways this course exceeded most face-to-face training that I've experienced: the ability to rewind, capture notes easily, use discussion fora, peer review work, access supporting online resources...and most of all the quality of the instructor who was clearly very experienced, built rapport (despite the one-way platform), and was very articulate.

If this the quality of all their offerings then I'll be using them again.

By Shivani B

Dec 22, 2021

Design thinking explained in the course, evaluates on various aspects such as design experience, product conception and product related thinking. As commences through the course, agile becomes a pivotal part of the system where it becomes all the more important to get continuous updation as the product / requirement evolves.

The only con could be more live examples related to HCI related part which can add more value to the course.

By Luis H d L L

Jul 1, 2020

Professor Alex Cowan really steps out of his way to make this course as accessible, comprehensible and paced as possible. With tailored, hand made course materials, this course gave me everything I needed to absorb it's contents. In the end, all I have to say is that this was one of the most engaging Online courses I have ever taken, i come out of it feeling confident on the topics it integrates, and of course: The skits WORK!

By Joel H

Mar 4, 2018

This is by far one of the best courses I have taken through Coursera! The audio is clear, Alex is well-spoken, and he is clearly a leader in this field. As impressive as his course is, the resources included are absolutely invaluable. If you're looking to further your education in Agile, or just need a thorough, easy to follow recap, this should be top of your list. Do yourself a favor and check out his website, as well.

By Mallikarjuna R V

Mar 22, 2021

Very amazing course for those who designs software. User needs study and project execution are explained in a systematic way. The concepts are also useful for general product design with respect to user needs study and addressing the user needs. The assignment and the quizzes are very interesting and very challenging. The material provided and the website references are very useful. Enjoyed the learning. Thank you all.

By Tomas R

Jun 3, 2020

Fully enjoyed the course. Made me think how Agile and Design Thinking approaches can be useful not just for IT projects, but for any other intellectual product development, including design of learning materials, EX processes and other human experiences in organizations which I am more familiar with. Definitely recommend the course for all who want to learn the basics of Agile and improve their creative narratives.

By Megan J

Jun 25, 2018

So far this course is awesome, as a marketer by training it's really easy to digest and the principles are easy to understand. Very close-in to what you've learn and already know as a marketer but offers a different framework to think about consumers and insights in a more interdisciplinary fashion that requires collaboration and group problem-solving. We should have all been on agile methodology a long time ago.

By Antonio M

Nov 4, 2020

Is an absolute hands-on, ready to provide insight at work, course.

It's helped me to put some formal structure to my Product Management practice, I feel it's given me a sharper edge and deeper understanding of the PM methodology and tools I've been using.

This course is a Must for PMs with no formal learning that arrived at the position with a naturally acquired repertoire of tools and experience on the job.

By Geoffrey C

Jul 31, 2020

This is the second course that I have done with Alex Cowan and Darden and find him to be absolutely brilliant in the delivery and description of the material and making it easy to understand. I originally planned to do just one course in this specialization. I'm enjoying it so much, I'm going to do the complete specialization and look for more courses from Darden or Alex Cowan once I'm finished.

By Jay B

Jan 5, 2021

I'm not involved in software design, but was able to apply the course to other types of project management that I'm responsible for. The iterative nature of agile planning can be applied to a variety of disciplines, including marketing, course design, new product design, and news publishing. One could practice also using Agile at a personal level with budgeting or family vacation planning.

By Iris F

Nov 19, 2020

The course was easy to follow in terms of topics and speaker, and the content is highly relevant to my daily work. There was a good mix of topics I already knew about (User stories, Agile) and could refresh my knowledge, and new topics, particularly in the Design Thinking area. I really enjoyed the course and will definitely apply at least some of what I learnt in my future IT projects.