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GuildHE Practitioner Teachers

 

Business Studies students present their findings to the staff of Belfast Zoo

 

Jack Fleming from GuildHE visited St Mary’s University College on Thursday, 26 April, as part of the GuildHE research on practitioner-teachers. GuildHE is developing a project exploring the role of practitioner-led teaching in higher education. Teaching models in such institutions often vary from those found elsewhere in the sector, making widespread use of teachers who are active in industrial or professional practice. The project aims to highlight the positive impacts of these practitioner-teachers, who share information on some of the associated challenges with their work and who also suggest good practice to overcome such challenges.

 

Pic is Jack Fleming from GuildHE

 

Jack Fleming accompanied the BEd Year 1 Business Studies students to Belfast Zoo, an integrated assignment created to cover the marketing and economics curriculum in a more innovative manner and based on client requirements. The students explored their shared knowledge on topics including marketing research, marketing planning, marketing segmentation, digital marketing and the marketing mix.

Each group, acting as consultants, set about investigating the potential growth area in visitor demographics in one of the following segments: senior citizens, students, family-fun seekers, primary schools/groups, entertainment seekers/tourists and loyal animal lovers, with the aim of presenting their findings and recommendations to the Belfast Zoo staff. These students will have benefited from this more employment-focused experience of higher education.

In consultation, with the Business Studies Department, it was agreed that a “real life” case study would considerably enhance the student understanding of the topic. The Innovation Factory (IF), an innovation centre for start-ups, entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, was approached and asked if they would be willing to be involved in a “real life” academic project in 2017 and, then again, in 2018. The feedback was very positive:

 

“I would be happy to engage on further events and would advise other businesses to do the same.”  

—Michael McQuade, Director, RoyleMac10


“Just a short note about the Real Life Learning Event….We found the candidates to be fully engaged, respectful and motivated. The project-based learning approach was ideal in our view, allowing candidates to demonstrate their presentation skills and abilities and offering a great opportunity for real-time feedback. Thanks again for getting us involved”.

— Martin Magennis, Director, TIME Associates

 

Business Studies students make presentations to representatives from the Innovation Factory

 

On Tuesday, 1 May, eighteen Liberal Arts Year 3 Business Studies students made presentations to new clients from various industry sectors ranging from tourism to recruitment. Experiencing  good practice, which the above projects afford, is excellent for developing the students’ employability skills as active participants within business, industry or professional practice and also serves to develop written and oral communication skills.

 

Business Studies students make presentations to representatives from the Innovation Factory

 

Business Studies students make presentations to representatives from the Innovation Factory

 

Business Studies students make presentations to representatives from the Innovation Factory