Online Learning and Engagement with the Business Practices During Pandemic

Year: 2021

Author: Ghalebeigi, Aida

Type of paper: Symposium

Meaningful engagement with industry is a key factor in preparing graduates to meet industry expectations and transition to employment. Online deliveries dictated by the pandemic necessitated more flexible forms of industry engagement and provided opportunities for a closer connection to the industry by removing the logistical hurdles of organising field trips and easier access to industry experts. However, these opportunities are only realised if the online setting is designed with specific consideration of online environment constraints and affordances. This chapter examines the transition of an industry-intensive course from field trips, guest speakers, and assessments to virtual field trips (VFT), e-guest speakers, and an innovative new assessment. The analysis showed that VFT did not fully meet students’ expectations. Although students gained knowledge from the VFT, they believed that on-site field trips cannot be fully replaced by virtual ones. Engaging e-guest speakers not only met students’ expectations but also received the feedback that e-guest speakers can be invited into the face-to-face learning settings. An innovative assessment task where students studied the impacts of the pandemic on the businesses added currency to the course and provided an engaging learning opportunity.