Practera Nano Projects: How we run successful team-based industry projects for students – 100% online

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 online project 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.

Online Industry Feedback Loop

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, we 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: 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.

Study Melbourne Live Projects Program 2019/20 bigger and better than ever!

Practera is grateful and excited to have been re-appointed by Study Melbourne to extend the innovative LIVE Projects program successfully connecting international students with employers through 2019/20

LIVE Projects is an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered in partnership with education providers and enabled by experiential learning technology company Practera. This initiative offers opportunities for international students to undertake real world business projects for Business, Government and Community organisations. The program commenced in 2017 and has achieved some impressive results with students receiving high quality work-based learning experiences and employers receiving high quality insights from diverse, multinational and multi-disciplinary teams of students.

Impressive results from the first two years

Student Highlights from the 2017-19 include:
9/10 willingness to recommend to peers
94% believe they have improved their employability skills through the program
95% believe they have improved their social connections from joining the Live Projects

Work-integrated learning at scale

More than 1000+ International students have worked in teams to undertake the Live Projects 3-week learning experience and delivered projects for businesses, community organisations and Victorian Government agencies. Previous organisations who have had student teams do Projects for them include Australia Post, Trade Victoria, The Arts Centre and Cricket Australia to name a few.

We are proud to have had University/TAFE and Private Education Partners committed to the program, including the University of Melbourne, RMIT, ACU, Monash, William Angliss, La Trobe University, GCBA, Holmesglen, Victoria University, Central Queensland University, Kangan Institute, Box Hill TAFE, and Gordon TAFE have their students involved in the program.

What’s new for LIVE projects in 2019/20

In 2019/20, Study Melbourne are supporting a further 850 places for students in Victoria to undertake Live Projects. New this year, is the extension of the program to include domestic student participation alongside our international student cohort.

How to get involved

The first cohort will run ‪from 8-26 July, with cohorts in November 2019, February 2020, and July 2020.

Getting involved is easy for anyone anywhere in Australia! If you are a Student, Client or Tertiary provider and like to learn more about Live Projects email our Programs team on

Further information

for Tertiary Education Providers: Participate in our programs

for Businesses: Join the program for free to engage with new talent 

University of Melbourne launches innovative app to support and engage international students during their first month in Melbourne

Arriving in a new city is always difficult for international students. But Practera can help!

The Global Exchange Challenge is a team-based, extracurricular program for international students and exchange alumni at the University of Melbourne. The program helps students feel welcomed to campus, navigate the city of Melbourne, make the most of student life and develop their skills in a professional environment.

According to the World Economic Forum’s list of sixteen 21st century skills in New Vision for Education  collaboration is one of the most critical skills to contribute to students’ future employability. Both programs are designed to help students become better collaborators and deliver project outcomes as they develop their self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Students make friends and explore their new environment

First, students participated in the induction program which allowed them to meet and build a social network with other international as well as domestic students. During the induction, the students went through a series of enjoyable tasks and activities that enhanced their experience at the university and provided them with useful information like landmarks, Melburnian culture, university life, and student discounts.

Renee, one of 120 students who went through the program said: “It was a good resource for exploring Melbourne and being exposed to the opportunities and resources available, as well as building relationships and seeing new places”.

Experiential learning at the core of the app

Students also needed to set goals for their experiences and engage in bi-weekly reflections. This cycle of planning, executing and reflecting ensured their experience was robust and exciting and prepared them for the requirements of the program that followed – Global Trade Accelerator (GTA). This a virtual program enabling students to work in teams on the market research briefs from national exporters.

Custom apps available to all Practera customers

Practera provides tools and templates to create your own welcome and on boarding apps. If you are interested how it might help your students, let’s have a chat!

University of Melbourne students building real world skills in the Practera Global Trade Accelerator program

It’s a wrap! Congratulations to all 14 teams of the Global Trade Accelerator Program from the University of Melbourne after completing 6 weeks of teamwork and Market Research for Australian exporting companies.

A chance for students to practice their employability skills

The Global Trade Accelerator provides students virtual work integrated learning projects with Australian exporters & trade organisations at large scales. In a team-based experience, students collaborate with exporters to work on a real business problem.

Students benefit from the Practera technology enabled program. Donglin, one of the student participants, highlights the value of the program.“A great program to provide real project experience for students and leverage students’ skills and different cultural background”

Clients were delighted by the high quality of student work

It was a relaxed celebration close-out event hearing from participating inbound and exchange student about their learning experiences, followed by great prizes and networking. One of our Exporting Clients commented, ‘We would like to commend the teams for delivering their reports within such a short timeline, the time and effort spent on the reports was clear and is a credit to them working together to deliver against our brief. Both reports took into consideration our GTA brief, a standout delivery over and above our expectations to provide a very comprehensive analysis of their market including robust recommendations for launch’.

And that’s not the only exporter client who was satisfied. Despite the short duration and being fully virtual, 100% of participating exporters expressed that the final deliverables met or exceeded their expectations, with 42% saying the outcomes significantly exceeded their expectations!

Practera helps universities to provide employability skills programs to their students

If you want to learn more about setting up your own GTA-like program or want to put your students in one of our successful employability programs, explore our programs or let’s have a chat!

Global Skills Passport for Australia Awards Indonesia Scholars

A group of students posing in front of Australia Awards Scholarships banner

The Australian Government has launched a national skills micro-credentialing pilot – the Global Skills Passport – through the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) Australia Awards Indonesia (AAI) program. Through the pilot, 400 AAI Scholars will create an e-portfolio of enrichment experiences on the Practera platform against one of 6 Global Skill categories based on World Economic Forum 21st century skills.

“Enriching” student experiences with a global skills passport

Australia Awards Indonesia Scholars are leaders from our region who undertake a program of study at an Australian institution. Students undertake a wide variety of activities that contribute to Australian society and culture during their study, create enduring linkages and build their global skills. These ‘enrichment’ experiences typically include volunteering, engagement in diplomatic & cultural activities and professional placements. 

Skills credentialing for Experiential Learning

The Global Skills Passport has been embedded as a significant element of the Australia Awards Indonesia Program. The Global Skills credential recognises Scholars’ contributions and experiential learning through these experiences. Students have engaged in a Global Skills workshop to provide students with a global skills framework, develop an enrichment mindset and craft a personal impact plan. 

Integrated feedback, events and badges

An inbuilt ticketing system helps promote AAI events and enrichment opportunities. Students win points for submitting evidence, and monthly leaders win vouchers and access to premium enrichment experience opportunities. Scholars submit structured reflections on experiences with video, pictures or documents, and these are reviewed by professional mentors. Ultimately, scholars win micro-credential badges that can be awarded for complete portfolios and displayed on social media platforms like LinkedIn, allowing contacts to access the underlying evidence of achievement.

Adaptable to any situation

The Global Skills Passport is built using one of our available Practera templates. Find out more about the product by visiting the Practera e-portfolio and credentialing page or have a chat with us to learn how to set up a skills passport for your users in less than 4 weeks:

International student work experience network a boost for South Australian companies

The South Australian Government has partnered with edtech startup Intersective to launch and pilot a new program to give international students at SA universities the opportunity to gain work experience in local businesses, strengthening their cultural immersion and language skills.

143 international students from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, UniSA and Torrens University undertook 3 week projects for business, local government and not-for-profit organisations as part of the Adelaide Engage Work Experience Network. Students, mentors and educators were supported through an Adelaide Engage app built on Intersective’s Practera platform.

South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said the opportunity to work on ‘real-world’ business problems while studying would provide a unique hands-on experience in the South Australian business environment.

“Students will be guided throughout by a range of experienced mentors and supported by the Prectera app to learn project management and team building skills. Participation in Adelaide Engage will enhance their job opportunities here and in their home country,” Minister Ridgway said.

“Businesses including SA Water, Bupa, Trajan Medical & Scientific, Chooks SA, Barossa Fine Foods, and Bank SA can tap into the wealth of bi-lingual, regional and cultural nous students have to help businesses grow.

Jinhong Park, a Korean student from Adelaide University said ‘it was a great experience to engage in a real business project that cannot easily be done by online research. I enjoyed the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge that I am learning University.’

Peiyan Li from Flinders University ‘I met people from different backgrounds and we all learned from each other. In the real world, it is essential to work as a team and be an actively team player. AEWEN provides a really great opportunity for international students to engage with real work experience. During the 3-weeks , our members and I worked hard and contributed and facilitated discussions on a variety of ideas. I really enjoyed this program and highly recommend to my peers.’

Sebastian Pabon, a student from Torrens University agreed. ‘Being the team leader for this project has given me very first insight into how to be a Project Manager. Dealing with life, university, project, stakeholders, team members, etc, is certainly stressful. However, learning about myself and my strengths, how I managed the team and the outcome we delivered, makes me believe that I have qualities and aptitudes as a Project manager.’

Bank SA General Manager Retail Banking Ben Owen said “BankSA was pleased to participate in the Adelaide Engage – Work Experience Network initiative in partnership with the South Australian and Intersective. The program enabled international exchange students to operate as business consultants. Our student team in Nicholas Thomola, Brandon Pinto, Yiyuan Guo and Quynh Nguyen provided real, valuable insights on real business challenges – they should be very proud of their efforts. Well done!””

Minister Ridgway spoke further about the broader context for the initiative.

“To support the international education sector the State Government has increased funding to StudyAdelaide to $2.5 million each year so it can continue to promote our state and encourage more students like yourselves, to live and learn in our state.

“We are also looking to double the international student ambassador campaign and strengthen interaction with overseas education agents to promote our interests overseas.

“We want to be able to further our educational ties, through partnerships with other international educational institutes.”

Recent ABS data revealing international student spending in South Australia reached an all-time high of $1.54 billion in 2017, up 9.4 percent from the previous year.

Minister Ridgway said international education is South Australia’s largest service export, and our second largest export overall after wine.

“We are committed to further growing this crucial economic sector,” he said.

“It’s estimated that each international student enrolment contributes an average of $29,600 to the local economy and every four enrolments support one full-time equivalent job in South Australia.

“International students also contribute to city vibrancy, and our government is increasing its work with South Australian companies to support individual business export growth to markets such as China.”

Intersective founder and CEO Beau Leese concluded – the Adelaide Engage Work Experience network is a perfect example of the kind of program we built our Practera platform to support – Universities, students, mentors and businesses collaborating systematically in experiential learning. These types of programs are key for people and organisations to build real world skills for the jobs of the future – but delivering them sustainably at large scale is hard. Practera helps program managers deliver better outcomes by keeping learners, mentors and educators engaged and aligned, and providing rich data analytics for quality management. We’re excited to work with forward thinking partners like the South Australian Government to enable this amazing program.

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