Collaborative Education conference highlights potential of education technology to support development of real world skills

10 October 2016

Presentations from employers including Westpac, Deloitte and the NSW Government highlighted how technology can enable effective work integrated learning (WIL) at scale in an upgraded regulatory environment at the 2016 Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) conference. 

Intersective co-CEO We Sonnenreich gave the keynote address and shared his perspective on new Tertiary Education Quality Standards Authority guidelines coming into effect on January 2016. He said; “Employers and Universities all want to do more work integrated learning to develop the graduate skills needed by industry. While that is very positive, the new WIL guidelines place a higher onus on educators and employers to demonstrate that placements and experiences incorporate work sufficient quality assured learning and academic supervision. Using collaborative technology and analytics can help streamline and quality assure learning elements to meet this test.”

During the conference, Ïntersective’s customers and partners provided different perspectives on the use of technology to scale WIL and support quality assurance;

The University of Sydney profiled the successful roll out of their gamified ‘Jobsmart app’ to build professional skills. Program co-ordinators Lucinda Crossley-Meates and Viji Venkataramani explained; “The Jobsmart program was rolled out to >2000 students across two semesters this year. Enabled by Intersective’s Practera platform, the app has increased engagement with the University’s ‘Jobsmart’ professional skills program by more than 700%. It enabled tracking and assurance of learning delivery across a program of real world events.”

Deloitte Director Angad Soin presented a study on the Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge. Angad provided the background to the longstanding program, A talent idea which emerged from Deloitte’s own internal innovation program – over 5 years, FASTRACK has had a real impact and changed lives. The program delivered innovation training to more than 1000 student and mentor participants and was embedded in curricula at 6 Universities. A survey of past participants revealed that 24% of students got a job due to the program, 65% said the program had a direct impact on their career path, and 76% said the skills learned had been useful in their career. In terms of employer branding, 95% of completing students had a favourable view of Deloitte as an employer. Building on this success, in 2016, the FASTRACK program has expanded onto a broader stage as the ‘NEXT’ innovation accelerator, supported by mentors at Deloitte and partner organisations like CSIRO, Westpac and IAG.

Yung Ngo from Westpac’s Asian Leadership Employee Action Group, sponsored a study about Westpac’s goal to develop Asia aware leaders within Westpac, and support future Asian leadership talent through e-mentoring. The lead investigator of the study presented an intercultural teamwork development model that is being piloted. So far Westpac has injected more than 50 mentors into programs like Intersective’s ‘NEXT’ innovation accelerator to support 250+ international and domestic students through structured WIL programs around Australia.

Suzanne Granger from Study NSW spoke about ‘Global Scope’, a large scale, technology enabled ‘virtual internship project’ program now entering its second year. She said “Global Scope enables hundreds of international students to engage on projects with NSW Government departments”. Analysis of the first year program found that the model is a valuable tool for developing employability skills, while building friendships and improving social integration outcomes for international students. One of the student participants, Vivian Zhou, said that “the best outcome of the program, apart from friendships, was that our team continued to work together after the program, and we event entered a new business idea into the UNSW Peter Farrel Cup (PFC)”.

For more information on Global Scope, ACEN or intersective, please contact

Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl


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