Recognising the impact that digital solutions can have on the student learning process formed the basis of our initial conversations with Newcastle University Business School, who had a desire to digitally enhance their module for First Year students, BUS1016 (Academic and Professional Skills Development). Many of the practices and skills that the module focuses on can often feel intangible to students being introduced to new environments and situations for the first time. New information to learn, new approaches to learning, and new challenges and opportunities to navigate as young adults personally and professionally.
Particularly following time spent in lockdown, many students arrive at university coming from vastly different backgrounds and previous teaching experiences. The pressure is on, more than ever, for universities and other advanced education groups to develop more varied channels and pathways that can support all needs and sustain interest as part of delivering a rich learning experience.
The team behind the module BUS1016 at Newcastle University Business School were interested in finding ways to immerse students in some of the nuance and practicalities behind the world of work and business, and having seen the positive responses previous students had to other simulations, they approached Motivait to design something bespoke to their needs. The core need was to provide a platform or environment that could introduce themes from the module to students while, crucially, getting them to work together. By using the solution, students would be engaged in learning about professional and academic skills but to also enhance and develop their teamwork and collaborative skills as well.
The key objectives at the heart of this project were:
- Drive positive teamwork and collaboration across the student population taking the BUS1016 module;
- Foster student confidence, understanding and awareness in core academic and professional skills and desired behaviours;
- Encourage autonomous and independent learning; and
- Introduce best practices and relevant approaches to common business challenges.