AU$1M Experiential Learning Innovation Grants Program to help >100,000 young people build employability skills

AU$1M Experiential Learning Innovation Grants Program to help >100,000 young people build employability skills

Round 4 Expression of Interest Due Thu Oct 21. Click here for UK applications and here for AU applications


Australian edtech startup Practera has distributed more than AU$785,000  in in-kind grants to 21 Australian Universities to accelerate online experiential learning programs through Covid.

Across 3 rounds, Practera has already deployed  ~30 in-kind grants to Universities with the potential to benefit more than 100,000 learners through its platform technology.

The program aims to help University educators continue to innovate valuable experiential learning programs in the face of post-pandemic resource constraints and challenges. Practera will commit AU$1M in support through this program, With the recent launch of our UK office, round 4 will now be open to both Australian and UK educators. Applications for round 4 are open until 21st October 2021.  Click here for UK applications and here for AU applications  

Angie Knaggs, Senior Educational Designer in the UQ Faculty of Business, Economics and Law received a round 1 grant to work with Practera to develop a Faculty Capstone program – Learning by Doing in a Disruptive World. She said “We had already determined that Practera was the right platform for this flagship program, which is a highly applied, interdisciplinary and team-based unit with strong industry engagement, feedback loops and project-based collaboration. It was obviously however a challenging time to request funds for new technology, so from our perspective, the grant came at just the right time to enable us to move forward. The design & configuration project is underway and the Practera team are great to work with – we appreciate their investment in our program!”

Funded Projects Include

  • UNSW; 10x alumni startup mentoring program, business school project programs
  • Swinburne; Non-placement WIL (NPWIL) module suite 
  • Curtin University; In-curriculum Marketing & Innovation project units
  • ACU; Capstone WIL Unit, Faculty of Law & Business
  • University of Southern Queensland; Engineering Professional Practice E-Portfolio
  • La Trobe University; Digital Industry Projects
  • University of Adelaide; Adaptive Trade Leadership executive education program and Student-Industry Projects
  • RMIT Vietnam; E-portfolio & credentialing technology to support Personal Edge employability program
  • University of Melbourne; reflection & micro-credentialing system for global mobility
  • SCU, Kaher Institute & India partners; professional placement nurse mentoring for Indian nursing graduates
  • QUT; Transdisciplinary curriculum embedded industry project program
  • RMIT; in curriculum virtual projects for Business & Engineering
  • UWA; multi-disciplinary and neuro-linguistically diverse student project programs
  • University of Sydney; International alumni mentoring, Engineering R&D Projects with CSIRO
  • UQ; WEF 21C Skills Career Decidedness Program, BEL Faculty Capstone, Learning by Doing in a Disruptive World, UQ Business School Strategic Decision Making simulation
  • The University of Canberra; virtual internships & industry project platform
  • La Trobe University; cross-faculty innovation & entrepreneurship skills accelerator
  • Southern Cross University; International Nurse Placement mentoring
  • ECU; in-curriculum industry projects for Schools of Business & Law and Science
  • UniSA; Engineering digital industry projects
  • UTS; Engineering virtual professional experience modules (internship, projects, e-portfolio), Not for profit projects program with UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion

If you want to learn more about our products, please get in touch. We are looking forward to having a chat!



Beau Leese

Co-Founder & co-CEO, Practera

Mob. +61433 262 855

Practera advances to the semifinals of the $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Competition

Practera is one of 8 teams from 4 countries who have advanced to the semifinalist round of the $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Competition, a three-year competition reimagining the future of work and transforming how we train and educate workers.

As a semifinalist, Practera will now enter the large-scale field testing stage of the competition, in which each team will need to demonstrate their proposed solutions, will rapidly place trained workers in 60 days or less, and then support the workers to ensure job retention of at least 60 days. 

At Practera, we are inspired by XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling’s vision of a future where all workers have access to gainful and meaningful employment. A concept that so closely aligns with our mission, values and work to date.

Huge congratulations to our U.S. team, Prue CliffordWes SonnenreichMaxwell Chappuis and to all the other semifinalist teams on their achievement of making it to the next round. We’re proud to be working alongside some fantastic innovators as part of the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition, reimagining the future of work and transforming how we train and educate workers. 

We’re super excited and are looking forward to the semifinal competition!

Find out more about our experiential learning technology platform and programs here.



Project Based Learning: Benefits and Techniques of PBL

The Benefits of Project Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) enables students to learn deeply and develop core employability skills through participating in real work projects and experiences. It has benefits for students, education institutions and industry. With Practera’s support, organising project-based learning is cost-effective and simple.

What is project-based learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching method that drives student learning by engaging them in real-world, meaningful projects. It’s a style of inquiry-based and student-centred learning. In PBL, students work in groups over a set period on a project designed to solve a genuine problem or answer a challenging question. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a product or presentation for a public audience.

Project based learning activities allow students to develop deep content knowledge. Importantly, PBL also supports development of 21 st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. PBL education is used across various learning environments, including high schools and universities.

It’s important to distinguish a PBL project from a traditional school or college project. Educators sometimes use light projects to supplement other learning activities. This can be likened to icing on a cake. In contrast, PBL is like the cake itself – it forms the substance of unit learning and skill development.

Want to reduce student costs by 90%? Download the ‘Quality in Online Project-Based Learning’ white paper to see how top institutions are doing it.

Why use project based learning?

The simple answer is that contemporary work is often project-based work. Forces including globalisation, automation and growth of the gig economy mean predictable and repetitive jobs are increasingly uncommon.

Instead, many current students’ careers will involve working on a series of projects. It therefore makes sense for them to have experience with project-based work, along with the knowledge and skills required to be a successful project team member.

What are the benefits of project based learning?

Project based learning also has other advantages for students. These include:

  • Deeper engagement and interaction with learning content
  • Encouragement of higher order thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Development of peer and professional networks
  • Engagement with potential employers and career mentors
  • Fostering of 21 st century skills like collaboration and communication
  • Enhanced autonomy and agency in learning
  • A sense of mastery and self-efficacy
  • Gaining valuable career insights.

Benefits for universities and industry

Universities and other educational institutions can also benefit from offering project-based learning that connects students with real-world projects and clients. The capacity to offer students high- quality PBL projects creates a differentiation point that can help you attract and retain students, improve their employability and satisfaction, and foster important partnerships with community, government and industry partners.

For educators, the PBL model can expand their repertoire of pedagogical strategies and lead to greater job satisfaction.

For industry, a PBL approach gives you access to teams of talented students eager to learn and apply their up-to-date academic knowledge. It creates opportunities to upskill staff in coaching and mentoring, and to meet potential job candidates.

project based learning

Establishing a program

If implementing a PBL program sounds like a great idea, it’s important to understand how to do it well before you get started. Research by the Buck Institute for Education has shown that a successful PBL unit must include some essential design elements for deeper learning, higher engagement and better-quality work to occur.
They are:

  • A challenging problem or question – the project must involve a meaningful, real-world problem that needs solving or question that needs answering, at an appropriately challenging level.
  • Sustained inquiry – PBL projects need to give students the chance to engage in an extended, thorough process of questioning, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Realism – the project must involve a real-life situation or task, or be related to the students’ personal concerns, life issues and interests.
  • Student voice and choice – students need to be included in making decisions about the project, such as what they will create and how, and be allowed to communicate their ideas in their own voices.
  • A public product for a real audience – the project needs to result in a piece of work that is shared with or presented to an audience beyond the classroom, such as industry clients or the public.
  • Reflection – educators and students reflect on their learning, the quality of work produced, any challenges that arose, and the success of strategies used to overcome them.
  • Feedback and revision – through reflection and critique, students should give, receive, and apply feedback (including formative and summative assessment) to enhance their processes and products.

When effectively designed, implemented and scaffolded, PBL can have a huge impact on the quality and success of your teaching practices.

How Practera can help

This might all sound quite complex, and it is if you’re trying to set everything up yourself. But with Practera’s help and resources, implementing project-based learning is simple. Our fully supported and quality assured programs are designed to easily connect university students with genuine industry experiences, internships and projects.

These are curated from thousands of global employers, including government departments, corporates and community organisations. Our expansive library of cost-effective project types facilitates projects ranging from two-week micro-internships to custom PBL programs to suit your requirements—all digitally enabled and scalable to thousands of learners.

Importantly, Practera can deliver these PBL programs virtually. Our innovative and user-friendly platform is designed to optimise learning quality and the student experience, regardless of whether programs are used onsite or remotely.

30-day free trial

Receive an exclusive 1:1 onboarding for your 30-day free trial with one of our experts and learn how to author, manage and launch amazing experiential learning programs with one easy-to-use platform.

No commitment or credit card needed to get started with your trial.

Monitoring progress and outcomes

Feedback about progress and outcomes is crucial for successful PBL, and you’ll want to ensure your PBL programs are achieving the desired results. Practera has you covered with our range of feedback, assessment and performance tracking tools.

Quality feedback to enhance learning outcomes

Quality feedback is one of Practera’s core strengths. Our platform allows students to receive individualised feedback from industry, peers and educators at exactly the right time to drive critical reflection, deep learning, and better performance. Integrated feedback support tools enhance the quality, consistency and timeliness of feedback—the key ingredient of successful learning! Our Team360 assessments also allow you to embed a peer feedback loop into your learning programs.

Easily assess educational outcomes

Practera gives you multiple options for assessing and progressing student learning. You can easily set up different types of assessments, commonly moderated assessments which allow for a feedback loop, along with question-and-answer options such as multiple choice and checkboxes.

For grading student work, Practera offers user-friendly rubrics that help you efficiently provide consistent and impartial grading. You can easily track participant engagement, progress and deliverables, pinpoint any issues with individual students or teams, and support them throughout their PBL experience.

Advanced technology enhances user experience

You can also monitor and quality assure your programs using Practera’s real-time analytics and data dashboards. At a glance, you can quickly identify any issues before they become bigger problems, or dig deeper for more detailed analysis. You can also capture end of program reports.

We even have a world-first AI-assistant, known as ELSA, designed specifically for experiential learning. ELSA provides 24/7 monitoring to provide real-time recommendations based on research- backed learning science, saving you time and helping deliver optimal student learning outcomes.

With COVID-19 meaning some PBL must take place virtually, Practera’s inbuilt feedback, assessment and performance tracking devices allow educational institutions to still deliver PBL activities without sacrificing learning quality.

Download your free PDF copy of this blog

Delivering Student Project-learning at Scale & Remotely- Watch The Webinar

Missed our live webinar? Click the link below and watch our webinar video. To equip students with the skills and capabilities they need for the future of work, educators seek to deliver a range of experiential learning programmes in and around the curriculum. However, experiential learning with high proportions of in-person engagement can be complex and costly to deliver at scale. Watch video click here 

Online models including team-based industry projects potentially offer substantial benefits including lower cost, broader geographic reach and enhanced scalability – but only if quality can be maintained. Watch video click here 

The University of New South Wales Business School partnered with edtech startup Practera to design a new class of digital online ‘nano’ projects. These projects have subsequently scaled up and been deployed with students from >60 other institutions in Australia and around the world, including King’s College London.

Watch video click here 

In this webinar, presenters and panellists will:

  • Share experience with designing & deploying digital industry projects & virtual internships to thousands of students
  • Share Practera’s recently released research into Quality in Online Project Learning, analysing performance and critical success factors across a sample of 7905 participants from 22 universities, across 124 cohorts and 4 types of programs supported by the Practera platform
  • Participate in the live panel discussion, facilitated by host Professor Laura-Anne Bull, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students, James Cook University, Director Student Experience Strathclyde


Presenters & panellists include:

  • Brigitte McKenna, Manager Career Accelerator UNSW Business School, Sydney
  • Naomi Hewston, Internships Adviser, King’s College London 
  • Beau Leese, CEO & co-founder of Practera 
  • Professor Laura-Anne Bull (Facilitator), former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students, James Cook University, & Director Student Experience, Strathclyde.

Watch video click here 



The Complete Guide To Work Integrated Learning

What is Work Integrated Learning (WIL)?

The term ‘work integrated learning’ (WIL) describes purposeful and supervised learning programs and activities that connect university students with real-world work experiences with an industry or community partner in their field of study. WIL is all about integrating what you study in the classroom with its workplace application.

WIL opportunities and activities are linked with one or more study courses, formally assessed, and applied as a credit towards your study program.

WIL allows students to engage in real-world work experiences that support their preparedness for employment. The benefits include the opportunity to apply knowledge in practice, build professional networks, and enhance employability. For employers, it creates opportunities for staff training, meeting potential work candidates, and getting fresh input on projects.

Types of WIL

Work placements

Work placements (also sometimes called clinical placements, internships, or practicums) allow students to engage in authentic, supervised work tasks during time spent within an organisation. For example, a physiotherapy student might complete a placement within a teaching hospital. They enable students to apply academic knowledge and develop professional competencies. 

Industry projects

These involve university students working, either individually or as a group, to deliver on a project brief for a community or industry partner. For example, a group of information technology students might work on an IT company’s brief to research and develop a client’s network solution. Students get to apply theoretical knowledge to authentic scenarios, plus develop skills such as client communication, project management, and collaborative working. 

Learn more about the benefits of WIL and experiential learning in our ‘Effective Experiential Learning’ whitepaper

Work simulations

In situations where real-world work experience may not be possible or carry too much risk, work simulations enable students to apply their academic learning in an environment designed to approximate the real one as closely as possible. These activities usually involve using industry-specific activities, technology or equipment in a way that simulates the work environment’s complexities. Examples include university law students practising in moot courts and trainee pilots using flight simulators.


This approach allows a student or group of students to build skills by partnering with an industry or community mentor. For example, a communications student might enter a mentoring relationship with a working journalist. Students can benefit from their mentor’s workplace experience, practical knowledge, and feedback about their performance. 

The benefits of work-integrated learning – for students

Work-integrated learning has a plethora of benefits for students. Just some of them include:

  • The opportunity to apply your hard-won academic learning to real-world work scenarios
  • Building relationships with potential employers and industry colleagues
  • Enhancing your resume with evidence of authentic work experience
  • The chance to explore your chosen field and clarify your direction
  • Developing valued workplace skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, project management and professional communication
  • The opportunity to better understand a workplace’s culture
  • A portfolio of work to show potential employers
  • A deepened understanding of your future career and its real-world requirements.

What are the benefits of work-integrated learning to the employer?

Students aren’t the only people to benefit from WIL. For employers, advantages include:

  • The opportunity to upskill employees 
  • Building networks with industry and community partners and training organisations
  • The chance to meet, identify and attract leading graduate talent
  • Engaging teams of eager, knowledgeable students for work projects 
  • Giving back to your industry or profession.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

How to get involved in work-integrated learning

Getting started with WIL might seem daunting, but Practera makes the process simple and streamlined. Our experiential learning platform seamlessly connects students with authentic, real-world work experiences, at scale.

For higher education providers, the ability to offer high-quality WIL is a powerful differentiator. It can help your institution attract and retain students, enhance their employability, and build strong relationships with industry and community partners.

Practera partner with higher education institutions in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia to help them deliver exceptional WIL experiences that simultaneously reduce delivery costs and increase scale. 


Practera helps employers develop the skills and capabilities of their teams while enhancing workflows and engaging with the upcoming generation of university candidates. 

Our platform can connect your company with students eager to gain experience through real-world industry projects, internships and experiences. 


For government agencies, Practera can partner with you to build industry and education system collaborations. 

Our programs support the upskilling and reskilling of workers and helps you identify and attract top graduate talent. 

Work Integrated Learning via remote learning

Organising work integrated learning (WIL) projects has become more difficult in a socially distanced world by necessitating a shift to virtual delivery. The Practera platform addresses this issue by ensuring virtual WIL can still take place with a high level of quality.

A vital component of successful WIL opportunities involves providing students with the chance to reflect on their learning experiences. Practera’s experiential learning programs have inbuilt feedback loops designed by industry, peers and educators and backed by research. These are delivered at key moments to help drive critical reflection and deeper learning.

This key ingredient helps university students gain employability skills such as creativity and resilience, and ensures their virtual learning makes them ready for real-life careers.

Learn more about the benefits of WIL and experiential learning in our ‘Effective Experiential Learning’ whitepaper

Practera advances to the next round of the $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Competition.

Practera is proud to be one of 10 teams globally advancing to the qualified teams round of the $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Competition, sponsored by nonprofit venture philanthropy organization New Profit in partnership with Jobs for the Future (JFF).

Working with future-focused workforce boards across the US, Practera will develop and demonstrate breakthrough experiential learning solutions to more rapidly train and place displaced & vulnerable American workers into higher-wage, higher-skill jobs. Qualified Teams were selected by an independent panel of experts from among 118 teams from 20 countries.

At Practera, we are inspired by XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling’s vision of a future in which all workers have access to gainful and meaningful employment. A vision that so closely aligns with our mission, values and work to date.

XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling incentivizes teams to develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of rapid training and reskilling solutions for individuals most vulnerable to employment loss in the United States. The solutions developed in this competition will reduce training time by at least 50% for occupations with a living wage and will be provided at no cost to the individual.

Congratulations to all teams on their achievement – we’re proud to be working alongside some amazing innovators as part of the Future of Work Grand Challenge.

We’re super excited and are looking forward to the competition!

Find out more about our experiential learning technology platform and programs here.

Happy Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year marks one year since the start of the current pandemic for most people.

As we usher in the year of the OX, let’s hope it bring along what it stands for. A year of calmness, stability, great opportunity and economic prosperity.

Wishing all our partners, friends, students and families around the world a very ” Happy Lunar New Year.”

We look forward to another year of achieving positive outcomes for “Learners, Students, Businesses, Universities, Educators and Mentors through Practera’s technology platform, learning design and programs.

How Can Universities Ensure Students are Work-Ready With Virtual Experiences?

Dino Willox director of student employability at the University of Queensland, and Laura-Anne Bull executive director for academic partnerships at Practera, explain how to develop employability skills virtually especially after the upheaval of Covid-19 to Times Higher Education The Campus. They emphasise that while there are plenty of options for enhancing employability virtually,  it is how students reflect upon and learn from their experiences as an important factor. At practera, we power experiential learning programs with our feedback loops to drive critical reflection, deeper learning and improved performance. As the authors point out, this important ingredient makes students gain enhanced employability skills and get them career ready.

Feedback from students and employers has indicated that by engaging in digital industry projects, enhanced by feedback loops from industry, peers & educators at the right points students fostered and developed much sought-after employability skills and capabilities such as innovation, resilience, emotional intelligence and creativity.

Read the full article on boosting student employability through virtual experience here

King’s Careers & Employability partners with Practera

We are excited to kickstart 2021 by announcing a new partnership between Practera and King’s College London.

The King’s Careers & Employability team will be using the Practera platform to deliver digital industry projects for students to gain professional insights and develop essential employability skills needed for a modern career. We look forward to unfolding the partnership and its digital projects in the year ahead.


Andrew Wright, Head of Employer Engagement at King’s said, “Practera has demonstrated itself as an industry leader across Australia and other key geographies and we are delighted to help them launch in the United Kingdom in 2020. The platform allows us to develop, design and implement high-quality virtual meaningful work projects for our students, working alongside industry at scale to build unique experiences in these challenging times. We are excited about what we can achieve in 2021 through group projects targeted at final year undergraduate students and those from under-represented groups.”



Practera Co-Founder & Co-CEO Beau Leese said, “We’re proud to be partnering with a leading Careers Service like King’s College, and delighted to be supporting their vision to build success for students, graduates, staff and employers across King’s College London.”



Practera also starts 2021 with a new UK team led by Jane Hallett, Senior Manager Academic Partnerships. Jane returned to London to work with our UK customers following 3 years with Practera in Sydney. Read more about the partnership here.

Practera powered Job Smart Edge wins prestigious global education award

Practera is very proud to be part of The University of Sydney Business School’s Job Smart Edge “BIG” program win at the Global QS Quacquarelli Symonds “Reimagine Education Awards”.

Job Smart Edge is The University of Sydney’s Employability program powered by Practera. The program prepares young people for a rapidly shifting future through access to career coaching, masterclasses and authentic real-life industry project experience.

The University of Sydney dominated this year’s QS Reimagine Education awards. The Business School’s Job Smart Edge initiative won the overall Global Education Award for its comprehensive program to provide international students employability skills and experience for their future careers.

The Reimagine Education Awards program, the world’s largest awards program for innovative teaching, is led by the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at the University of Pennsylvania and the World University Rankings. It aims to reward innovative approaches that enhance student learning outcomes and employability.

Massive applause to all involved on a well deserved and outstanding award!

If you want to learn more about our products or discuss how we can help you design an award-winning employability skills program, please contact us here We look forward to having a chat!


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