The CRC Association has partnered with edtech startup Practera to support the education and knowledge transfer activities of CRCs with the Practera experiential learning & micro-credentialing platform.
CRC Association CEO Tony Peacock announced the partnership during last week’s Collaborate | Innovate | 2019 conference. He said “The CRC Association is pleased to announce our partnership with Practera to develop a series of experiential learning products to help CRC’s enhance activities like industry skills development, PhD mentoring, innovation challenges and industry education. These programs are critical to build the impact skills of our scientists and to collaborate effectively with industry, but we often reinvent the wheel in these spaces. Practera offers the opportunity to provide digital templates that can be adopted and adapted by CRCs to use with their students and industry partners. Practera is a great Australian startup which brings to life a clear vision for work integrated learning and industry-research collaboration that closely aligns to the mission of the CRC program.”
Ruth Marshall, Practera’s R&D Director and a former Commercialisation Advisor for Data61 has been working with a small group of CRCs on developing prototype products. She ran a workshop at the conference to elicit best practices and demonstrate prototypes.
Mike Ridout, Innovation Broker and Education Director of the Food Agility CRC said “this project has the potential to help students and early career researchers develop needed business skills including teamwork and collaboration in an industry setting”
Liz Barbour, CEO of the Honey Bee Products CRC agreed – “this project will help develop solutions to challenges such as helping students get a more consistent and reliable mentoring experience, supporting students across different geographical locations.”
Ruth said “Practera will work with CRCs to develop a portfolio of useful digital experiences to facilitate students, researchers and industry practitioners undertake collaborative activities and develop their skills. High-quality experiential learning programs can be costly to run and are not easy to repeat because there are no economies of scale. Practera provides the digital tools to support the design and delivery of quality experiential learning courses at scale”.
The platform steps students through goal setting and skills-development planning framework with multiple opportunities for reflection. Students can earn micro-credentials for their achievements along the way, earning badges that can then be published to other platforms such as LinkedIn. Students can showcase the particular skills they have developed in their applied R&D projects, which are hugely valuable but may not otherwise be recognised in their formal academic achievements.