When thinking of university study, innovation and collaboration aren’t usually the first things that come to mind, but that’s exactly what you get with the Creating Innovative Engineering (CIE) Masters subject at the University of Melbourne. Unlike many other university subjects, they chose to be different. Aligned with industry, the CIE team have joined organisations from across Australia to provide students with authentic learning experiences through the use of real-world project-based challenges.
"Industry partnerships are important for CIE for three reasons. First, our major teaching goal is to give students an appreciation that the world of work is not an extension of study. What better way than to have them mentored by someone from industry who can teach them about the work world? Second, we find that students are much more motivated to learn and perform if they are working on a real innovation challenge for a client who really cares about the outcome. Third, our industry partners often hire the students in their teams, or engage with the university in some other way, after the project is completed." Peter Cebon, Subject Coordinator
So how does it work? At the start of the course, organisations pitch real problems they’re trying to solve. Students get to choose a project and form project teams to collaborate with to solve the problem. They are supported by a mentor from the organisation for the duration of the course.
To support this innovative project-based way of learning the CIE team realised they needed a different tool to the ones they already had available, and iQualify fit the bill. A relatively new LMS, iQualify offered a range of engaging features which aligned with their vision and what they were trying to achieve.
“We chose iQualify as it enabled our students to work effectively on their group projects whilst also allowing our mentors to work virtually alongside them. In addition, iQualify’s Pulses feature gave us the ability to gather instant feedback and incorporate that instantly which really worked with our approach to course delivery.” says Nat Mather, Programme Manager and Administrator.
Mirroring modern workplace practices is vital for the success of the CIE programme. Social features allowed discussion and peer-to-peer feedback and evaluation giving students the opportunity to model collaborative ways of working.
Being mobile first, iQualify met the modern study experience the CIE team were looking for, allowing the project teams to study and communicate on the go, emulating how business is conducted in the real world.
“The support we received from iQualify has been incredible says Nat Mather, Programme Manager and Administrator. We talked to the team about our vision for the programme and in return, they provided us with guidance around the features iQualify offers and how to best use them to achieve our goals.”
The programme, which has been running for nearly two years, flipped traditional learning on its head and is moving from strength to strength. The reason behind the success of this programme is simple – by working together with industry, students have been able to gain real-world experience from within the classroom, a huge advantage for students in a competitive job market.
Find out more
If you’re an Engineer and interested in this programme check out https://cie.eng.unimelb.edu.au
If you’re interested in iQualify and how it could transform your business visit www.iqualify.com