Northeastern University Chancellor Ken Henderson will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday 9 September at the Melbourne Edtech summit, interviewed by The Australian Education Editor in Chief, Tim Dodd.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern is a global leader in experiential learning. It’s Co-op / internship program is one of the largest in the US with 27,000 students across 10 campuses and 3100 corporate partners around the world.
Professor Henderson will talk about how the future of co-operative education will be enabled by edtech – more digital, experiential, modular and lifelong, with new digital models bringing educators and employers together to service students from highschool through university and throughout their careers.
As part of its vision, Northeastern University has partnered with Australian experiential learning edtech Practera. Practera provides a flexible experiential learning platform delivering solutions from;
digital projects for high school students with the City of Boston
remote internships with a range of Community Colleges as part of a National Science Foundation project, and
corporate training through task first feedback & mentoring in the flow of work.
As well as being a customer and partner, Northeastern led Practera’s recent investment round to accelerate Practera’s rapid growth in the US, alongside existing investor Main Sequence Ventures.
Wes Sonnenreich, co-founder and co-CEO of Practera now based in Boston, “We are excited at the opportunity to work with Northeastern University more closely and bring to life our shared vision of creating opportunity through experiential learning. We are proud that we have developed a platform primarily in Australia, which leading US experiential learning thought leaders are now recognising as best in class.”
Practera is pleased to welcome Professor Laura-Anne Bull to the team as Executive Director of Academic Partnerships.
As a recent Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students, committed digital innovator and Practera customer, Laura-Anne is well placed to work with our Higher Education customers in Australia and globally.
About the appointment, Laura-Anne said, “Experiential learning is a strategic opportunity space for Universities seeking to attract & retain students, enhance their employability and engage industry. 2020 is proving to be a year like no other and institutions have had to adapt quickly to becoming more digitally enabled whilst remaining cost-effective. A great deal of the heavy lifting has been done by university staff but there is still more work to do. I wanted an opportunity to develop my own skills and experience in digital innovation and edtech as these are crucial to the future of our sector. I’d worked with Practera before so I knew that they were global leaders delivering amazing impact for their customers and also great to work with. So having made the call to ‘disrupt myself’ in this time – it was a natural discussion and I’m now delighted to be part of the team. I’m looking forward to working with a range of colleagues from across the sector as we work in partnership to define our ‘new normal’ and continue to position Australia as a global leader in tertiary education where all our students engage in the best student experience anywhere in the world.”
Practera Co-Founder and Co-CEO Beau Leese agreed. “We’ve had years of edtech innovation compressed into months this year, and the next few years will see further innovation required to develop new value propositions for domestic & international students and industry partners. Having worked with Laura-Anne previously I knew her as a strategic digital innovator with a passion for student experience, access and equity – values that really align with our mission. I really respect that someone of Laura-Anne’s calibre has joined an edtech startup and she will be well placed to help our customers and leadership team with her insights and experience.”
Laura-Anne brings 15 years of Senior University Executive experience to the role. Most recently, Laura-Anne was Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students at James Cook University. Prior to her role as DVC with JCU, Laura-Anne was PVC Student Engagement and Equity at UniSA, Registrar Student Life at ANU, and Head of Student Experience, Registrar and Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Laura-Anne has worked as a Development Engineer with Syngenta & British Gas and holds a PhD in Chem Engineering.
Laura-Anne will join longstanding Practera Senior Academic Advisor Professor @Tony Watson as resident former Senior University Executives. Tony is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Executive Dean Computing, Health & Science with Edith Cowan University.
Australian edtech startup Practera has distributed more than $550,000 in in-kind grants to 16 Australian Universities to accelerate online experiential learning programs through Covid.
Across 2 rounds in March and May 2020 Practera’s Experiential Learning Innovation Grants program has supported 26 projects at 12 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 Covid-19 resource constraints and challenges. Practera will commit $1M in support through this program in 2020, with the next round in August / September.
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!”
Round 2 projects funded 16 projects across 12 Universities worth $317,000, and included;
University of Adelaide; Adaptive Trade Leadership executive education program
Macquarie University; HDR career mentoring program
University of Melbourne; reflection & micro-credentialing system for global mobility
SCU, Kaher Institute & India partners; professional placement nurse mentoring for Indian nursing graduates
WSU ‘Venture Makers’; whole of University innovation & entrepreneurship industry accelerator
QUT; Transdisciplinary curriculum embedded industry project program
RMIT; in curriculum virtual projects for Business & Engineering
UWA; digital industry projects
UQ; WEF 21C Skills Career Decidedness Program
University of Canberra; virtual internships & industry project platform
La Trobe University; cross-faculty innovation & entrepreneurship skills accelerator
VU Business School; choose your own adventure’ career planner
Round 1 committed $250,000 in a first round of in-kind support for the following 10 projects;
UQ BEL Faculty Capstone, Learning by Doing in a Disruptive World
Nurse mentoring for Southern Cross University School of Health & Human Sciences
Virtual student projects with ECU School of Business & Law, University of Adelaide School of the Professions, and UNSW Business School
10x Program alumni mentoring with UNSW Entrepreneurship
Work simulations for the University of Sydney Business School
International alumni mentoring for the University of Sydney
Round 3 of ELIG is scheduled for October 2020. Please send us an email to register your interest.
If you want to learn more about our products, please get in touch. We are looking forward to having a chat!
Around Australia, Universities are currently responding to a serious challenge – how to support the international students – predominantly from China – whose commencement has been impacted by novel Coronavirus. As of the first week of February, 106,680 Chinese international students with visas to study at universities and schools remain stuck outside Australia, – 56% of the entire cohort. Estimates of the potential adverse economic impact on Australia currently range from $3 – $8 billion.
Projects Programs supporting the majority of Australian Universities
Edtech startup Practera is currently supporting more than 20 Australian Universities and a number of State Governments to provide industry project experiences with hundreds of Australian employers to thousands of international students. However this year, a substantial proportion of the participating students – more than 20% – have been impacted by Coronavirus travel restrictions.
Davina Potts, Associate Director Careers, Employability & Global Learning at Melbourne University has a number of impacted students participating in Study Melbourne’s Live Projects program. Live Projects is a 3 week industry project experience where students work to solve a challenge for an Australian business, government or community organisation. It ordinarily involves both in-person meetings and online collaboration. Davina said that “Work Integrated Learning experiences like Live Projects help our students develop invaluable, authentic Australian workplace experience. We were pleased that the Practera platform was able to be quickly reconfigured to support a high quality online only WIL experience for our impacted international students.”
GET A FREE DEMO TODAY – call 0449 192 291 or message firstname.lastname@example.org
A focus on student experience and industry engagement
Monash University Commerce student and Study Melbourne Student Ambassador Yi Su, arrived in Australia just hours before the travel ban was put into place and decided to self-quarantine. From her home in Melbourne’s suburbs, she is working collaboratively with her team of Chinese students at home in Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, and stuck in a hotel room in Bangkok to complete their project for an Australian tech startup. Yi Su – “It is a very challenging time, and I am grateful that we have been offered a solution for students who can’t be here in person. This virtual Live Project allows my peers and I to improve our employability skills and practice online collaboration by engaging in a real project with an Australian company. Our client and mentor have been really encouraging and supportive of our situation.”
Industry clients and mentors have been keen to support the students. Yi Su’s team Mentor Li Zhang is the CEO of the Australia-China Economic Trade & Investment Expo (ACETIE) “I have been trying to be extra supportive to the team who are working hard and are grateful to be able to complete this project. I’ve been emphasising that the future of work will demand transnational online collaboration, and therefore this was a great experience to work collaboratively in a digital environment to deliver a great project outcome.”
Practera online learning at equivalent quality to face to face models
Hayley Bolding, Practera Executive Director ANZ and her team have been working with customers like Davina around Australia to respond to the evolving situation. Hayley said, “The flexibility of our technology platform has allowed us to adapt the program seamlessly to an online environment, replacing in-person elements with virtual ones. We’re confident in making adjustments as our technology has been demonstrated to enable delivery of online project based learning at equivalent quality to face to face models. Our engineering team including members in China, have been able to work quickly to ensure Practera is configured to support an high quality user experience in mainland China”
In NSW, Careers Service Manager, Lucinda Crossley-Meates from the University of Sydney Business School, manages Job Smart, the Business’ School’s award winning digitally enabled employability program for international students. She is facing a similar challenge, how to adapt to engage and support incoming students in the face of travel restrictions and delays. “Working together with a technology partner like Practera shows how we can flexibly overcome significant challenges to support our international students. Using innovative models like online projects and work simulations in our Job Smart program, the University of Sydney Business School is preparing to support the student experience for our students whose commencement may be impacted. Practera is helping us with optionality for our planning to meet a range of scenarios.”
If you want to GET A DEMO or learn more about how you can offer our projects to your students, reach out directly to Hayley Bolding, Executive Director, Practera Australia & New Zealand (M. 0449 192 291) or learn more on our projects programs website.
We often see surprised faces when we talk about our success in partnering with universities to provide our Nano Projects: full-service authentic work experiences for their students – 100% online and at the lowest cost in the market. That’s why we decided to write about how it works and what the experience is like for students, participating industry partners and universities.
Practera is collaborating with 20 Australian Universities to provide onlineproject experiences, a unique experiential learning opportunity that matches student teams to industry partners, to thousands of domestic and international students.
In their team, each students is expected to spend about 25h of effort to solve a real business challenge described in their project brief.
By offering these guided 3-week industry projects, students learn critical 21st century employability skills like communication, teamwork and problem solving and start building their professional network.
The projects are sourced from hundreds of Australian employers, who provide direct feedback on the student deliverables. Because of the short duration, we call these short-term, high-impact online experiences “Nano Projects”.
For example, we have a team of Chinese students who are at home in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dalian, which will complete their project with an Australian company virtually, guided and facilitated by their Practera app.
Due to our large network of industry providers, we are able to provide Nano Projects that are relevant to the student’s degree or major.
Innovative technology is the secret to success
The Nano Projects, as well as all of our other services and programs, are delivered via our experiential learning technology platform. The flexibility the platform has allowed us to transform traditional projects into our Nano Projects format, replacing in-person elements with virtual ones and adapting the program seamlessly to an online environment.
Program coordinators are able to monitor and keep track of everyone’s learning experience through the Practera administrator interface. Data analytics and automated recommendations on how to improve participant satisfaction and learning outcomes give educators the super powers needed to manage and quality assure large online cohorts.
Based on experiential learning pedagogy and backed by research
Due to our recent research of the quality of online project based learning, we know how to make these changes while preserving the authenticity and educational value of the experience in online projects. By analysing more than 200 projects, were able to prove that these experiences are pedagogically sound and of the same quality than comparable in-person project based learning experiences. Our “Quality in online Project-based Learning” research white paper is available for free and was presented at ACEN conference in 2018.
Nano Projects – A simple, scalable solution for higher education providers
“Practera is an innovative technology and programs partners for the University of Melbourne in delivering experiential learning. Practera have delivered online and in person projects for hundreds of students across faculties with outstanding results.”
Dr. Davina Potts Director Global Leadership and Employability University of Melbourne
We offer Nano Projects as a full-service product. Additionally to the technology, which hosts any of our experiential learning experiences, we provide 5 key services to enable a truly end-to-end solution without extra effort for university customers.
Client sourcing & matching: We source real, authentic clients who provide us with project briefs. You can choose the discipline and our team of experts ensures that all projects are appropriate for your students.
Content & platform: Throughout their project, your students will be guided by high quality content delivered through the Practera mobile interface. Pre-defined milestones, activities and tasks ensure that student teams know what to do and when to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Participant support: Each project is supported by dedicated Practera support staff who ensure that teams and project clients are on track. Our support staff consists of educators and practitioners with years of experience in delivering experiential learning programs.
Digital Certificate: At the end of every project, all participants receive a digital certificate.
Reporting & Quality Assurance: Our expert program coordinators ensure the quality of each experience by monitoring and proactively nudging students towards successful project outcomes. At the conclusion of each experience, a cohort report of all your participating students is provided to you and your team.
“Practera has delivered high quality, industry engaged project programs for the Business School at reasonable cost, both in curriculum and extracurricular. Practera has been a trusted, reliable partner for more than 5 years.”
Lucinda Crossley-Meates Manager, University of Sydney, Business School Careers & Employability Office
Success in numbers
In 2019, we have successfully provided Nano projects to more than 2,000 students from most of Australia’s universities. Our satisfaction ratings from students, industry clients and university customers are constantly exceeding expectations.
With >90% engagement and completion rates for these often extra-curricular activities, we are proud to have created a successful offer to systematically build students work experience, 21st century skills and professional networks alongside study.
For 2020, we are on track to triple the number of students in our Programs and hope to collaborate with you soon.
Get started today
If you are interested in our Nano Projects for your students at small, medium or large scale, please feel free to reach out to us: email@example.com or visit our programs page.
Note: All our programs can be run in-house as well, we are happy to teach you the ropes and provide access to the Practera platform to give you and your colleagues the super powers needed to effectively and efficiently create, deliver and quality assure your experiential learning programs.
As 2019 draws to a close the Practera team wish you and your families a happy festive season and bright 2020. We’ve had an awesome 2019 and hope you have too.
PRACTERA CUSTOMER SUCCESS
Enabling inspiring experiential learning programs
We’re very proud that in 2019 we helped more educators deliver high quality experiential learning to more to students and professionals than ever before. We doubled our customer base in Australia, US and Canada, now including >60% of Australian Universities. Some highlights include;
The University of Sydney won a prestigious AFR Higher Education award for the Job Smart employability program powered by Practera, which has helped improve employment outcomes of more than 10,000 students by 300%
Practera has been adopted for professional development applications by US thought leaders Northeastern University and Institute for Experiential Learning
7 Universities piloted a new low cost, high quality digital ‘nano project’ model, which grew from 0 – 1,000 students and will be adopted by 20 Universities for 2020 – download the research
Boston University expanded its transnational health development projects program to 17 developing countries in Africa, Central and South America
Practera is enabling Study Perth to provide digital employability experiences and micro-credentialing for 50,000 international students in Western Australia – see a product demo here
4 Australian State Governments are using Practera to break down employability barriers with authentic 3-week industry projects to >1000 globally diverse students from 25 Universities with >150 employers
Building the worlds leading platform for experiential learning
Rolling out ELSA, our first generation AI product. Experiential Learning Support Assistance automatically detects the most common issues and helps you resolve these with recommended actions, templates and smart tracking- see it in action
What we write, publish and present at events and conferences
Practera’s state based projects program was a finalist at the QS-Wharton Reimagine awards, our Skills Passport module won best in show at the Canadian e-learning conference, finalist at the Study NSW international education awards
Next year catch us at the following range of global conferences; APAIE (Canada), GIC (Canada), ACEN (Australia), AIEC (Australia), NAGCAS (Australia), ASU-GSV (US), LearnLaunch (US)
We are excited about how experiential learning will change the way we teach and how it will prepare the next generation of learners for the future of work.
If you’d like to learn more or discuss your experiential learning program please contact us
We are extremely proud to announce that our “Projects Programs” for Business Students have been shortlisted for the Wharton-QS Reimagine Education Nurturing Employability Award. Up against over 1500 applications from educational innovators from 39 countries we convinced the judges with our proven results of more than 3,000 students who boosted their employability skills through our programs.
Practera’s Projects Programs are offered to all Australian and US Higher Education institutions and help educators to prepare their students for the future of work with authentic and relevant industry projects, without compromising on quality of learning outcomes.
The projects, which are sourced from Practera’s extensive network of project providers, give students the opportunity to participate in short, team-based experiential learning. Participants work with an industry professional on their real world problem, find solutions and present the findings to their client. Students frequently mention and demonstrate immense improvements in critical 21st century skills like critical thinking, complex problem solving, teamwork and communication.
If you’d like to learn more about Practera’s Projects Program offerings and how you could enrol your students in on of our full-service programs, please get in touch with Hayley Bolding, Executive Director of Programs firstname.lastname@example.org
Practera will showcase their Business Projects Program to over 600 educational leaders at the 2019 Reimagine Education Conference in London, England this December 9th & 10th.
Experiential learning startup Practera will open a Perth office to work more closely with customers in WA, including making the Practera platform available to all 50,000 international students through StudyPerth’s “Employability Perth” initiative.
Speaking at the 2019 Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) in Perth today, StudyPerth Executive Director Philip Payne said, “Through digital technologies, we are aiming to put Employability at the heart of the Perth International student value proposition – demonstrating that Perth is not just a great place to live and learn, but to launch global careers.”
Practera will deliver a ‘Welcome to Perth’ orientation experience, Peer Mentoring ‘Buddy’ program and a Skills Passport eportfolio & microcredential platform.
Practera’s COO and Co-Founder Suzy Watson, a Perth expat, UWA Science and Curtin Accounting alumna, and a 2019 Australian Women in Tech finalist, is relocating to Perth to spearhead local operations following 12 years in Sydney.
At AIEC, Watson spoke about Practera’s involvement in providing the technology to power scalable micro-credentialling & employability initiatives for international students with Study Perth, the Australian Government through the Australia Awards program and the Queensland Government through Study Queensland.
About Perth she said, “I’m really excited about working on a world leading initiative in my hometown to deliver digitally enabled employability skills, experiences and micro-credentials to international students at large scale. I look forward to deepening our relationships with customers here in WA as well, and hopefully sharing some of our experience from Australia and around the world.”
Practera works with more than a third of the Universities in Australia and a range of Government agencies & businesses to power skill building programs and better prepare learners for the future of work. These are programs like team projects, work simulations, accelerators, mentoring, internships, study abroad and competency credentialling. In addition to Perth, Practera has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the US and Canada.
We’re excited to be a core part of the Employability Perth vision, for every international student to have the opportunity to undertake a range of authentic experiences which build their skills, experience and employability around their study – leading to a unique personal portfolio accessible to their future employers.
Experiential learning edtech company Practera has appointed a Queensland leader & partnerships and opened a Brisbane office to work more closely with customers in the state.
Practera Co-Founder & Co-CEO Beau Leese said, “I was privileged to work closely with Study Queensland over the past 12 months as an education innovator in residence. I found that employability and experiential learning are high on the agenda for many institutions, and there is a great deal of energy & innovation in this space around the state. Examples of exciting projects already using the Practera platform in Queensland include a world leading skills micro-credentialling pilot with Study Cairns and Study Queensland, mentoring for nursing graduates from SCU and CQU in regional Queensland, and industry project programs for UQ.”
Incoming Executive Director, Queensland Jamie Ford joins Practera from her most recent role as General Manager Customer Experience & Innovation with UnitingCare Queensland. Prior to that she was a Senior Manager with EY’s Queensland Advisory practice specialising in Higher Education and customer led transformation. She is a regular guest lecturer at UQ Business School, UQ MBA Graduate and Not-for-Profit Board member.
Ford said, “I am really proud to join the Practera team. Practera is an exciting growth stage edtech company that is achieving great outcomes for Universities in Australia and globally. I am a big believer in customer value, innovation and creating opportunities for people through new pathways and skills. I’m very excited about working with educators and industry partners in Queensland to deliver enhanced employability outcomes for students.”
Practera will also form a partnership with Brisbane based employability provider Startup Interns. Practera and Startup Interns collaborated on a recent successful Study Queensland funded program pairing students with startups. Leese continued “Students are seeking to understand career opportunities in fast growth startups, and startups are hungry for talent & mindset with the capability to work entrepreneurially. Startup interns founders Ocean Cheung and Dongjin (DJ) You have done a terrific job building energy in this space in Queensland, and we’re excited to take this program forward with them.”
Startup Interns co-founder & Managing Director Ocean Cheung said, “This partnership with Practera will see us able to advance our mission to deepen the cycle between startup founders and entrepreneurial students through practical experience of working together. Practera are at the global leading edge in this space and will help us achieve our mission at broader scale.”
Practera Queensland’s doors are open and is ready to continue partnering with educators and industry alike to achieve high quality employability outcomes for students.
Reach out to Jamie Ford (email@example.com) or Ocean Cheung (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more.
Macquarie University has today become the first tertiary institution to launch the My Legal Mate (MLM) legal advisory app to all 11,000 of its international students. MLM is an innovative new mobile app offering on-the-go legal information to international students in NSW, developed by Redfern Legal Centre on the Practera platform.
Funded and supported by Study NSW, City of Sydney, Fair Work Ombudsman My Legal Mate is an Australian first. The app uses interactive video in seven languages to provide international students with instant legal information on problems like underpayment at work, accommodation issues and sexual assault.
“International students studying away from home can face a variety of urgent legal issues,” Redfern Legal Centre CEO Joanna Shulman said. “Many students lack knowledge about the law in Australia and simply don’t know where to get help.”
“We’re proud to partner with Macquarie University to enhance the wellbeing of its vibrant international student population, providing accessible and culturally appropriate legal information,” Ms Shulman said.
“The partnership between Macquarie University and Redfern Legal Centre is a direct response to the fact that 1 in 3 international students encounter legal issues whilst studying in Australia,” Gail White, Executive Director – Student Engagement and Registrar at Macquarie University said.
Practera Co-Founder & Co-CEO Beau Leese said – My Legal Mate is an exciting innovation “three-peat” – it is a groundbreaking and well thought through legal resource for international students and an example of how professional services can be digitised and automated. “The Practera experiential learning platform was selected to go beyond digital services and create a learning opportunity based on real world experience. Delivering MLM has been a great project for Practera, and we’re also extremely proud to be making a contribution to the welfare of International Students in Australia.”
MLM is available to all tertiary education providers in NSW, and versions for other states are in development – to enquire about access and pricing, please contact Redfern Legal Centre through their website.