Industry partnerships that provide meaningful practical learning for students are often one of the results of the development of a community of practice. The links developed with an external IT solutions organisation enable student to use industry-based software during problem based learning (PBL) activities in the classroom. The curriculum has been enhanced to ensure that the activities closely resemble everyday ‘real-life’ business situations. The practical aspects of the PBL exercises ensure that students are exposed to first hand experience of clearing export cargo through customs and generating the necessary paperwork to comply with barrier control regulations. Although customs clearance is obtained in ‘test mode’ through the external IT solution partner, for the user the process followed is identical to that of a ‘live’ clearance. The additional documentation required for compliance with legislation, and also to satisfy commercial contractual requirements, is generated by the students using specialised software, with the output academically assessed. Students have the additional option of submitting their work for external industry assessment and obtain a proficiency certificate. Such an approach enables the development of a community of practice by linking students, industry and educational institutions to fulfil the common goal of employment ready graduates.
|Keywords:||Communities of Practice, Curriculum Enhancement, Problem Based Learning, Industry Partnership|
Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Economics, Institute for Community Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives, Footscray, Victoria, Australia
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