Pre-Place, an online program that helps to prepare students for the demands of their work placements, was one of three Flinders projects to win prizes at the recent South Australian IT industry’s annual iAwards.
In addition to the Education award accepted by the Centre for University Teaching for Pre-Place, engineering graduate Josh Morony received the Undergraduate category prize for his Fliidea application, which enables companies to engage university students with innovation challenges. Mr Morony designed the app while undertaking Work-Integrated Learning with the University’s commercialisation arm, Flinders Partners.
And it was Mr Ben Flink of Flinders Partners who received the Research and Development award for Strategiize, a software platform that provides an intelligent management tool for innovators wanting to take an idea to market.
Ms Helen Stephenson, a project officer in the Centre for University Teaching, said Pre-Place had been developed for the benefit of thousands of students at Flinders who now undertake workplace and industry placements as part of their courses each year.
Pre-Place employs a series of eLearning modules to convey key information regarding professional attitudes and skills, organisational contexts and work, health and safety in order to ready students for their placements,” Ms Stephenson said.
Ms Stephenson said designing the multidisciplinary program had involved academics and professional staff from across all four faculties at Flinders as well as student support areas.
She said Pre-Place presents problem-solving tasks, including case-study scenarios, to encourage students to consider a variety of workplace situations and perspectives, and provides feedback and guidance once online tasks have been submitted.
Ms Stephenson said there has been widespread uptake of the program, with more than 2,000 students self-registering and using Pre-Place in 2013 from courses that include nursing, social work, business and engineering. In view of its success, Flinders Partners is moving to commercialise the product for use by other Australian universities.
As State winners, the three projects are now entered in the National iAwards, which will be held in August.