Speaking at the Inside Government ‘Developing Digital Skills for the Next Generation’ forum on the 17th May 2017, Dr. Charles Knight discussed how Edge Hill Business school is embedding digital skills development into courses.
Using a 2nd year project management module as an example, Charles discussed how students are asked to undertake real projects for clients that make a difference to them or their fellow students. Critical to the approach of the school is a willingness to try new things beyond the traditional lecture and seminar model and instead give more control to students over their activities.
Students attended lectures virtually which covered the theory of project management and classroom time was turned over to projects. One group of students worked on a project to develop a free open educational resource – in this case, a virtual strategy textbook. Another group of students explored what a university wide student enterprise app should look like and came up with a design for a prototype.
As Charles notes:
Risk is our business. Risk in the sense that our students need the opportunity to work on projects where things could go wrong and they are constantly developing new skills to deal with challenges. Our graduates will be entering a work place that demands high levels of digital skills and the ability to work with others under pressure to come to meaningful outcomes. Our job is to give students a framework and supportive community to develop these skills. The onus is therefore on us as educators to keep refreshing what we do to make it relevant.
This is just one example of the type of active learning that students undertake to both develop their skills but also their employability. On other modules, students get to undertake activities such as running their own small businesses or undertaking a social media audit for an external client.
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