Coventry University is committed to developing graduates who can function well in global communities and who understand and embrace different cultural and business approaches. There are many opportunities for students to engage with peers in other countries and cultures both through online projects and travel. The Faculty of Business, Environment and Society is using open access resources to take developing our global student communities a step further. Before non-native English speakers start their substantive Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree courses, they access an intensive, collaborative approach to teaching English academic language, using open tools such as Google Classroom to explore cultural and linguistic differences. Once studying for their business degrees, we have developed a crowdlearning software engine to create a global community of learners. In both the language teaching prior to study, and the crowdlearning approach, students are content generators. Peer teaching and co-creation of content is a key element in these new approaches to business education.
The crowdlearning open source driven software allows SMEs, students, practitioners and other users to submit issues around new market entry, exporting and seeking markets. Once submitted, the community can discuss the themes and offer advice and solutions, creating a growing knowledge pool, with students and business professionals as co-creators.
Features of the system
The advantages can be specific to user categories as follows:
- Can use this the system to access a community of learners
- May be able to access real time advice for similar users/businesses
- Competitive and quality information
- Access to future employees through interactions
- Real time access to a community of knowledge and real issues
- A change to further critique and discussion of which answer is most appropriate and why
- It can transfer ownership of the learning process to the learner
- Employability prospects
- A pool of participants to provide multiple answers to questions, different ways of addressing a problem can be explored.
- Real Student projects leading to value/student experience
- Opportunities for further research themes/publication routes
- Business School
- Engage a wider community of stakeholders
- Potential student recruitment pipeline
- Potential Funding Routes
- Branding value
This is an approach that we hope to use more widely across courses in the Faculty and across the University to embed global employability skills in our graduates.