This initiative provides a dedicated space on Canvas for approx. 700 Bachelor of Business degree year one to four students, which acts as a virtual space with a user-friendly dashboard, where students can check and get up to date relevant course information covering a wide range of topics.
The following types of information is covered;
- Programme level
- Year level
- Employability and soft skills development
- Experiential options linked to work placement, Erasmus and extracurricular activities
- Alumni / career paths
It aimed to ensure students have timely access to relevant and up to date course information via mobile App or PC, supporting the delivery and engagement of student and staff colleagues across a number of layers:
- Programme lecturers and students can better appreciate the overall degree programme, module links and student requirements in terms of employability demands and soft skills development.
- Class Coordinators can share information with their groups and move away from dealing with a large volume of repetitive emails to a more streamlined information portal.
- Departmental Secretary benefits from a single point of reference for course information.
- Head of Department benefits from having a space where course relevant information can be shared live with multiple stakeholders whether student, lecturer or administrative; ensuring a common message is issued.
How did the project work towards its aims?
The team took a structured approach to deliver this ambitious project and worked with a number of colleagues across MTU to ensure we met our aims including:
- A focus group facilitated by the Dept of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) with project team (business degree lecturers and coordinators) to assist interface design and development in 2019/20 prior to Covid_19 pandemic.
- Planning and design of platform including icon and template development by the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team in conjunction with Virtual Degree Space planning and implementation team (VDS).
- 38 meetings were held over academic year 20_21 between VDS team and 23 of these meetings included the department of Technology Enhanced Learning.
- Student Promotional / Pilot Launch Introductory session held with each year group of the Bachelor of Business (Honours) degree programme - five first year groups, each of the three second year groups, one session for the third years and one session for the fourth years.
- Content for the Virtual Degree Space was sought and acquired from the following stakeholders by holding a showcase type briefing and issuing a request for resources;
- Careers Officers
- Students Union team
- Library team
- Clubs Officer
- Societies Officer
- Members of the Graduate Studies Office
- Alumni office staff
- Joint mentorship programme staff
- EDGE programme staff
- Erasmus coordinators
- The Virtual Degree Space project has also been repeatedly referenced and discussed at Year team meetings and course board linked to the degree programme over the academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21
- The Virtual Degree Space project was profiled at a School of Business meeting attended by over 100 lecturers in June 2020 and December 2019.
The project has been shared extensively across MTU’s School of Business (>100 participants) including:
- School-wide presentation
- Learning Community presentation
How might this project develop over the next 2-5 years?
The Department of Management and Enterprise is committed to maintaining the platform and to continue to populate it with relevant and up to date programme information for students of the BBUS (Honours) programme. There is a commitment on continued support from the TEL Dept, in terms of technical assistance where needed and from IT Services to auto enrol students onto the platform each year. We will also link SALTE funded projects such as BALI, EDGE, OER and the EDI project.
The Virtual Degree Space will also be tied into Programmatic Review to support and connect with its degree students supporting the achievement of the Programme Outcomes.
Ethical approval has been secured for student and staff surveys which will be launched in 2021/22 following the formal launch of the project in September 2021. This survey data will hopefully lend to academic publications going forward.
WHO ARE THE PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS?
- Caroline O’Reilly, Head of Department of Management & Enterprise.
- Trudie Murray, Lecturer & Project Facilitator.
- Emma Clifford – Department Secretary - representing administration.
Bachelor of Business (Honours) Year coordinators
- Year one - Sinead Huskisson, Nollaig O Sullivan, Sharon Lehane, Carmel O Connor, Geraldine Doyle.
- Year two - Dr. Aisling Conway, Dr. Wei Xiong, Siobhan McKernan Katie Power and Ann Lynch.
- Year three - Antoinette Hogan.
- Year four – Maurice Murphy.
- Dr. Pio Fenton Head of Department of Marketing & Information Business - representing Marketing pathways and Erasmus.
- Dr. Claire O Sullivan Rochford, Head of Department of Accounting & Information Systems - representing Accounting options and professional body exemptions.
- Aileen Cotter & Aoife Hackett - Work placement coordinator.
- Class reps to be identified from each programme year representing the student voice.
- Dr. Gearoid O'Suilleabhain – Head of Department of Technology Enhanced Learning.
- Shane Cronin, Technical Officer - Department of Technology Enhanced Learning.
- Dr. Breda Kenny – Head of School of Business.
STUDENTS TEAM CONTRIBUTORS
- Audrey Kane – 3rd Year Class Rep.
- Emma O’Gorman - 3rd Year Class Rep.
- Samantha Zaccaria – 1st Year.
- Georgia Aherna – 2nd Year.
- Megan Neary – 3rd Year.
- Jordan Mangan – 4th Year.
- Roisin O’Regan – Master Student and graduate.
STAKEHOLDERS FROM ACROSS MTU
- Careers Officers – Caitriona Horgan and Treasa Morgan.
- Students Union team – Vikki O’Sullivan, Aisling O’Mahony, Zack Nutchanat, Cian O'Driscoll.
- Library team – Theresa Ahern, Michael Costello, Sinead Hanrahan, Rosarie Dineen, Colm O’Rourke, Adrian Vaughan.
- Clubs Officer – Norma Buckley.
- Societies Officer – Aoife Kelliher.
- Members of the Graduate Studies Office - Lisa Moran and Bernie Lehane.
- Alumni office staff – Glynis Gardiner.
- Joint mentorship programme staff – Barbara Hempel.
- EDGE programme staff – Angela McGlynn.
- Erasmus – Sheila Walsh.