POSTGRADUATE FINANCE STUDENTS DEVELOPED RESEARCH FOR THEIR COMMUNITY PARTNER TO USE IN A FUNDING APPLICATION
|Name of the participant and other supporting staff if relevant||Lucía Morales|
|Name of the module and discipline, level and year of study and any useful background info||
MSc in Finance. Module: Econometrics 2. Econometrics is a technical, quantitative module
|Name of community partner and/or any other supporting partners (public or private sector)||SPADE|
|CERL project title(s) – (10 words concise description)||Postgraduate Finance students developed research for the community partner to use in a funding application|
|What you changed about your programme/course in relation to CERL||A CERL project was introduced to the module. The module assessment was adjusted to recognise the development of soft/professional skills.|
Can you provide any tangible info – e.g. module descriptor, learning outcomes, assignments, assessment criteria
Assessment: 2 projects
1. Group Project – develop “soft Skills” – 50%
2. Individual Project – develop “hard skills” – 50% discipline focused
Breakdown of group project work:–
1. Technical aspects: 50%
2. General Aspects: 40%
3. Individual self-Reflection: 10%
How was it taught:
· number of students
· student groupwork or individual,
· how they worked with the partner,
· how the project proceeded,
· any reflection done with students,
· evaluation or formal assessment of their learning,
· tech used
· Anything else interesting?
5 students took the elective module.
The CERL project part of the module was group work.
The CERL project was run under the auspices of ENFUSE, so the students communicated directly with the community partner, without the lecturer being present. The lecturer supported the students’ progress separately.
Students were required to submit individual reflections on their learning.
|What did your students learn or how will they benefit?||The students demonstrated the capacity to adjust and progress, they developed communication and professional skills. Lucía did not go with them to meet the community partner, they had to arrange everything and feedback to Lucía. They had to manage their time and provide regular feedback on progress. The students had to deliver a research report in line with the community partner’s expectations. They also did a very good job with their reflections.|
|What do you think the benefit was to the partner? Do you have any feedback from the partner?||
The feedback from the community partner was very positive. They said the students produced a high-quality fantastic report. Lucía gave this feedback to the students and acknowledged that although they did not get to apply all their econometrics knowledge to the project, this was OK as they had another project in which they could demonstrate this.
They were encouraged to present their work at a showcase but they decided not to, and Lucía feels they missed a valuable opportunity to showcase their work.
|How could/will you improve your CERL teaching practice next time?||Get more clarity at the beginning of the project, manage the expectations for the students. More alignment between soft and hard skills, re-evaluate the way this is taught and the way the students are engaging with these. Realising and emphasising the importance of soft skills in the CERL project process.|
Any challenges and how you overcame them
At the beginning Lucía found it challenging to find a community partner. The module content is quite technical and is based on econometrics. She was worried about what value they could give to a community partner as often this particular area of work is misunderstood. Lucía received a list of projects from ENFUSE and they seemed to be mostly based around marketing and management. They chose a community partner, a non-profit organisation called SPADE who are in the field of entrepreneurship. The community partner had a shared kitchen facility and they wanted the students to develop research that they could use to secure funding.
In the beginning the students were excited about the project idea, and Lucía had promised them they would do a lot of learning about econometrics. After the students first met the partner, they came and told Lucía that the project wasn’t about econometrics or even finance, it would be more of a marketing and business management project. Lucía felt that this response in itself showed good communication skills and judgement by the students. The students’ motivation towards the project dropped because of this misalignment of the community partners’ goals with their learning goals. Lucía had to rethink how to align what was happening in class with the CERL project. She felt in hindsight that she could have framed the project better for the students; it was a very rich experience, but she told the students they would be doing more with econometrics, and this was not the reality – the professional/soft skills would be an important part of their learning. She felt she had mis-managed their expectations. More open discussion with the students and the community partner from the start she felt would have benefited everyone involved.
|Anything else you want to do, moving forward with your CERL practice?||
Moving forward for the module:
Image courtesy of Lucía Morales.