We live in a time of radical transition and transformation. To successfully navigate this time of uncertainty new strategies and solutions are needed. Never before has the education played such an important role as society works towards a new way to live, play, work and learn. We need to equip students to address complex, real-world, technology, business and societal problems. Universities must go beyond the traditional classroom to provide experiential learning which brings students into contact with business and society through challenges, projects and work-based learning, and allows them to engage in purpose driven projects that appeal to their desire to make a difference with their ideas. This also breaks down barriers to entrepreneurship and entry into the workforce allowing students to explore different industries and roles and enables companies to engage with their potential talent of the future.
For many universities in Europe and beyond, the completion of such an experience is also a critical part of the curriculum, enabling graduation. According to the World Economic Forum, complex problem solving is the number 1 skill graduates will need for the future. The article below from Dr Ishwar Puri, Engineering Dean at the University of McMaster, Canada explains the value of experiential learning extremely well. https://firesidewiththedean.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/self-disruption-in-the-university/ Sadly however from 60 to 70 percent of corporate internships and campus activities are being cancelled because of this crisis. And that’s where we step in.
What it does
Drawing on over 15 years of experience in the design and delivery of engaging student experiences for universities and companies, we have developed a modular platform allowing students, universities and companies to interact through one of 4 programmes of different lengths and styles, suited to individuals and groups. The programmes are project or challenge oriented, addressing real business and society issues, and linked to the related UN Sustainable Development Goals. They can be open to any student and interdisciplinary, or tailored to a pre-selected group of students and themed e.g. by region, discipline or industry. Each programme contains core skill development modules, including personal awareness, entrepreneurship, STEAM skills, seminars, company ‘visits’, webinars relevant to the theme or challenge as well as social and networking modules. Importantly, the self-evaluation, which is a critical to assessment, is gamified to encourage completion, and the programmes are designed with input from universities, companies, student organisations and the relevant advisory boards to deliver specific learning outcomes as a credit-earning exercise for degree completion. Once registered online for the Learning Expedition, the student (or their university) can choose from a Virtual Internship, a Virtual Team Project or Challenge or a week-long immersive programme. Universities can benefit from our support from start to finish, or can choose to host the programme via the platform ‘programme manager’ tool. The students benefit from engagement in high quality purpose driven projects and challenges and engagement with industry and society. Industry and society benefit as we help create ‘job shapers’ rather than ‘job seekers’.
How I built it
With the amazing team from Petrus Communications of course!
Challenges I ran into
Like all the other hackers – time! We started developing our ideas for an online programme in 2019 and have just massively accelerated to be able to respond to the current challenge. Students, universities and companies need this solution now.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
This was our first Hackathon! We stayed up for most of the night, learnt some new tricks tools, and had a lot of fun, thank you for the opportunity!
What's next for The Learning Expedition?
Development and launch of course