Blog update: Fostering Collaboration for Improved Solutions

Fostering Collaboration for Improved Solutions

Today’s SUCSESS training session offered new knowledge and sparked some excitement in teaching moving forward. The session started with an explanation of the Design Sprint model, which is an excellent collaborative way to engage industry partners, foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Just briefly, the sprint model (developed by Google Ventures) is about tasking students to develop new products that speak to current industry needs/problems, all within a week. Industry partners come with their problems or needs, and students have a week to work together to develop a product (and test it) accordingly. Today’s sessions highlighted the application of this model in the Haaga-Halia Porvoo campus, detailing both the success and challenges. I thought this to be an exciting way to engage with industry as well as providing some exposure to students and the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge. The following presentation on the use of technology as an enabler was thought-provoking. As a lecturer, I (like many others) had to fully switch to online learning. While this transition provided the opportunity to introduce new and emerging technologies and applications in the learning experiences, I had to remember the matter of feasibility and practicality. This meant understanding that the type of technology that is available, how to use it will be influenced by how accessible it is to students. In the South Africa context, we cannot overemphasize the importance of considering the data and network constraints faced by our students.

Also discussed, was the importance of technology in enabling better access to industry collaboration. One thing (out of many) that I found particularly interesting was the use of simulation and gamification in teaching and learning practices. This highlighted the adaptability afforded to us (as lecturers) to the changing and complex world. For instance, while students may not be able to go out into the industry, simulation, and gamification techniques, through virtual reality, can bridge that gap. Further, such technology can be used in exposing students to certain aspects of industry that they do not know of. While we have quite a bit of way to go in the context of South Africa, the possibilities of this are exciting.

As to be expected, the group discussions were quite lively and sprouted some interesting insights. To begin, the groups mentioned the importance of maintaining and nurturing relationships with both industry and alumni. Also, the use of social media in classes was highlighted, some new ideas

Written by:

Ms Refiloe Lekgau, 

Academic Lecturer, 

The University of Johannesburg, 

School of Tourism and Hospitality

This blog post has also been published on the University of Johannesburg website: