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

3,284 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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By Olga G

Jan 11, 2020

Overall very good course - the instructor seems to be very professional, with deep subject knowledge and expertise in domain.

At the same time the way the information was delivered is a bit confusing for several reasons:

First. The instructor doesn't make a proper intro into agile frameworks and processes and you cannot really understand in which part of the puzzle the design thinking fits in. If I didn't have basic knowledge on agile development methodologies I wouldn't really understand at what step and how should I apply the design thinking.

Other confusing thing was the presentation itself. The presentation slides are overwhelmed with the information and texts, many times absolutely unnecessary, so that you have to stop the video to read them, but actually it doesn't give you any important additional information and doesn't bring any additional value. And the whole bunch of information you are trying to read on the slide is overlapping with a lot of information provided by the instructor, so all together it becomes very confusing and difficult to structure in your mind.

The last thing - during the presentation the instructor uses the pen to underline/select some information which creates additional confusion and makes the whole presentation process kind of "messy".

Overall I would recommend the course, but you better have some basic understanding of the agile processes before to start it.

By Joseph D

Sep 24, 2020

My notes, I think, have captured all the essentials from the course. I will need to rearrange them into a handy reference. The exercises helped reinforce the learning and validate the templates. As for the final project, I somehow downloaded the wrong template. After puzzling over the rubric and that template, I searched and found the correct template. Appears that maybe one the papers I peer reviewed might have been on that incorrect template.

The instructor lectures as though he was a long-tenured professor, but he actually comes from years of commercial experience. Very impressive.

The course seems to be mostly design thinking, and little bit of Agile. That's fine. This course could stand alone as design thinking. If there is no other stand-alone design thinking course from this provider, this course could apply very well across many disciplines. It has some things in common with Google's internal Agile processes.

As nice as this course is, I'm still sort of wondering why it's in the UVA curriculum. I guess core and specialties have broadened quite a bit in the last 10 years.

The discussion of emotion and reward was very insightful.

By R I

Apr 25, 2016

A great course to start. IT bridges between Design Thinking and Agile. I found that very valuable, especially for Product Owners who need to understand what "Pre-Scrum" activities are required/helpful in their role, i.e. it doesn't make sense to define what you want before you know what you need.

Some of the videos have a bit of lengths, if you're already familiar with the topic. But that might be part of the didactics for beginners.

The Quizzes sometimes seem to be a bit 'awkward' - i.e. maybe they aren't very obvious for non-native speakers while they are for native speakers? It's often littel details, or rather the tone of the sentence, that seems to make it the right answer.

The access to templates etc. is great although they are available in the internet anyway if you know where to look.

The skits remind me the TV distance learning for English in the 70ies in Germany. I find the funny but not as usefull as they could be. But I like the idea.

By Monica S

Aug 3, 2021

Very focused on personas and how to do a deep dive into the "why are we doing what we are doing" and "what outcome do we want and what value does it bring". Overall quite a good course but I would possibly rename it since it's not really about Agile...and not really about the elements of design thinking aside from ideation I believe. Also, I think Alex is hilarious, like that scene with him putting on the other coat jacket to play a different role so we "don't get confused" - I was literally laughing out loud. Great dry sense of humor.

By Wendy V

Jan 22, 2020

I liked the course, it was good, and really prepared me for the user story portion. Or so I felt it did. I have not gotten my grade back yet. We will see if I actually understood. The only reason it is not 5 stars is the portion of the pier reviewed part, where you might have to grade someone who really did not understand what was being asked of them. Or you could be graded by someone who did not understand. Its just a difficult situation. If there was maybe a screener review for that, it would be a little better, but over all still good.

By Nathaniel D

Jun 20, 2020

Great lectures, highly engaging. However, this course, and the rest of the courses in the Specializations, seem focused more on designing and executing market/product research methodologies. Agile, as a framework and as a practice, is discussed in length in two or three lectures only. If learners need in depth Agile discussions, you may want to check other courses for that. If you are into product innovation driven by designing studies on target markets, then enroll in this course.

By Diego G

Nov 4, 2020

If you're in the path of certifying as a Product Manager, this course must is a must (besides actually being mandatory, lol). Most of the times forgotten, it's fundamental to set and maintain the north on our potential users/clients/customers, and move from there with empathy. The relationship beteween personas, problems, alternatives and value proposition and how they need to be present every step of the way (and challenged) is something to set as a mindset.

By Judy N

Dec 27, 2018

Content was excellent. Grading process was a disappointment. When I submit an assignment, I must grade three others before my assignment is available to be graded. Three others must then grade my assignment before I receive an average grade. This sounds great in theory, but my assignment is stuck in limbo land. Perhaps it is because I am motivated - ahead of proposed schedule.I cannot afford to drag this course out; grading delays are extremely frustrating.

By Jaikishore S

Dec 20, 2021

Excellent course on the whole. A good follow up on the Digital Product Management specialization to the Modern Fundamentals course. The assignment at the end is the best aspect of the course. Would have liked to see an assignment with one narrative run through the entire course i.e. pick a project/product right at the beginning, define personas. That way, each part of the assignment can be more detailed and gives you more practice.

By Philip T

Apr 15, 2018

Good course, that covers the basic agile concepts for creating personas and user stories well. The instructor, speaks clearly although I personally found his pacing and word choice different enough that I had to pay attention else I'd have to rewind and re-listen some sections to glean what was most important. I found the templates really helped, and forced me to be thorough and pedantic as I used them for the assignments.

By Sankarlal R L

Jul 3, 2020

The interest towards watching the videos geared up in a slower pace but ended up with highest gain towards the objectives.

It's neither easy nor a difficult course to pursue. The presentation slides in the videos could have been visible for some more extra time as it contained lot more stuff to read. I strongly recommend everyone to do this course and I am sure you could finish it before the schedule as I did.

By Joana B

Aug 17, 2021

The Peer reviewed assignments simply don’t work! People just copy paste assignments from google, they share them, or even my own assignment got shared! This is unacceptable!! People just don't take it serious! From 8 assignments that I have the chance to review, 6 were flagged because they were simple copies and plagiary work! There is clearly a problem here and I hope you can solve them!