In 2016, Australian edtech startup Intersective helped the University of Sydney Business School deliver step change improvements in outcomes for its premier ‘Job Smart’ employability skills program with new, gamified mobile apps for experiential learning at scale, delivered through Intersective’s Practera platform.
As Manager of the Career & Employability Office (CEO) for the University of Sydney Business School, with more than 5000 international students and a small team, Lucinda Crossley-Meates has a challenge – how to efficiently support and engage students in developing practical employability skills around formal study.
To meet this challenge, the University of Sydney Business School has invested in creating ‘Job Smart’, its premier program to support its international students in their employability skill journey. Job Smart delivers programs and resources to develop job-ready skills, but as an extracurricular, large-scale program; student engagement and monitoring are challenging.
Lucinda and colleagues presented the outcomes from the program at the November 2016 National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS) conference.
Lucinda said; “Intersective was able to deliver engaging, gamified apps to help us scale our premier Job Smart program to 1000’s of students, promote learning, and increase engagement by 700%.”
Jobsmart supports students through 3 phases;
- Foundational; Learn about employer-relevant skills, recruitment processes, professional profile building with practice & feedback
- Transitional; Low-medium touch team-based business challenges, industry feedback + self-reflection. Preferential entry potential into business project experiences
- Experiential & Immersive; Startups, innovations, business competitions. Internship and recruitment opportunities; Business placements.
Lucinda outlined Intersective’s role; “We engaged Intersective to work with the Business School careers team to develop and pilot two new mobile app products based on their Practera platform for collaborative project learning; Practera ENGAGE to support phase 1, and Practera CASE to support phase 2.”
Practera ENGAGE is a mobile app to enhance and track learner engagement with real world experiences and activity sequences ENGAGE helped facilitate engagement with the extracurricular Jobsmart phase 1 professional skills program for 1300 international students. Students used the app to review content, book event spaces, check into events and complete reflections. They won points and competed for rewards at bronze, silver and gold levels. Administrators monitored activity engagement and completions in real time, making targeted adjustments and interventions. Students completed nearly 4000 hours of industry engagement and 10,500 activities. Outcomes included a 700% engagement increase compared with the 2015 pilot and 92% retention into phase 2.
Practera CASE gives student teams an engaging mobile based case study experience where decisions matter and virtual industry feedback can be efficiently incorporated and delivered. Practera CASE supported a 6 week “live business simulation” for 180 students and 6 industry mentors. Students were presented with 3 multimedia ‘episodes’ of an ethics case study and were asked to make an justify strategic choices in a presentation video. Students’ choices were evaluated by business professionals; this evaluation determines the simulation outcome and what the students see next. Students reflected on their experience and performance against learning outcomes.
Lucinda said; “Practera CASE is an engaging and powerful tool for educators. It positions us to deliver meaningful, measurable, experiential learning opportunities built upon traditional case study method, at scale. Outcomes from the pilot were very positive, with a 98% overall participant experience rating and 92% completion rate.
Practera CASE boosted positive outcomes:
- 98% Participant experience rating
- 92% completion rate
- 65% of students were assessed by their mentors as demonstrating substantial improvement in presentation skills
- 99% of students felt their teamwork skills improved
- 95% of students felt they got an insight into strategic decision making in large organisations
For phase 3 of the program, more than 200 Phase 3 Job Smart students articulate into two award-winning Intersective experiential, immersive real world learning programs; NSW Global Scope, and NEXT Innovation Accelerator. More than 40 industry partners including the NSW Government, Deloitte, CSIRO and Westpac provide mentors. Both of these programs are facilitated to operate at high quality and scale through our Practera collaborative project learning web platform.
Lucinda finished; “Intersective has not just brought innovative technology – they have been a knowledgeable and responsive business partner that understands our space and delivered on our requirements flexibly, on time and on budget. The Intersective team has been great to work with.”
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