D. Nielsen, Y. Lin, A. White

University of Greenwich (UNITED KINGDOM)
The current competitive environment in Higher Education (HE) and reduced financial support from the government demanded changes to the way teaching and learning is delivered. The students, who are now paying more fees, expect more in terms of their learning and skills development that builds towards their future potential employability. Findings from dialogues with potential employers indicated that the university must make revisions to improve their students’ employability.

The old-style prescriptive scientific framework for designing curriculum in universities to deliver knowledge through teaching using case studies for students’ analyses and discussions is no longer sufficient. The use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) within the HE alone is certainly not enough. While there are changes made in some curriculums to incorporate the additional use of software simulations and computer games in learning to enhance learning, a more radical approach is required for a big impact. As a result, the university looked outwards to potential partnerships or collaborations to help achieve their students’ ultimate goal in employability.

A major transformation to the curriculum delivery by university-industry collaborations facilitated a wide leap forward, impacting teaching staff and students, changing the learning process and engagement, as well as improving assessment results. This explores the case study of such a collaboration that facilitated the innovative use of technology used in industry. The different channels used for learning engagement are also reviewed. Research findings show that both students and teaching staff became more active interactively and collaboratively. Collaborative activities filtered down to all levels of engagement resulting in higher levels of collaborative learning and deeper learning for the students. Valuable lessons are drawn from realising the impacts in terms of staff and student roles, dimensions of dominance and control, group collaborative learning and the assessment results.