How do our digital business students work with industry?

Dr Yun Chen talks about how your digital business can work with the University of Salford
Dr Yun Chen talks about how your digital business can work with the University of Salford

Have you heard about digital business transformation? Here at Salford we have and we want to be part of the process that helps transform your digital businesses. Do you want to know how our students work with internal and external partners?

I am Dr Yun Chen and I run two modules working closely with industry bringing our undergraduate students within the digital business transformation process. My Mobile App Development module is a great example. This year our students developed real applications and more importantly, they worked with our established industry partners Apadmi and Sigma too benchmarking their skills against industry standards.

Could your business benefit from a number of fresh pairs of eyes looking at your app development project needs? Like you, I know that mobile devices are one of the most popular channels that help people engage people with digital businesses activities. This means it is really essential now to make sure that students understand not just the mobile technologies and theories of design but also its implementation in the real world. Let me tell you more about how Salford Business School does this.

How is digital business part of our industry collaboration strategy?

Apadmi discuss mobile application development for with our digital business students
Apadmi discuss mobile application development for with our digital business students

Here at Salford we know that Industry collaboration is important. That is why it is at the core of our teaching and learning strategy that brings together internal and external partners with our students in projects used in our teaching and assessment. This means our digital business learning is real-world and experiential but more importantly there is a clear path to the professional working world and employable graduates with relevant skills.

We worked closely with application development supremos Apadmi developing of our curriculum. Why would we do this? Well, wouldn’t you want to work with an industry leader who has created solutions for the likes of the NHS, Co-op, BBC and Argos on your course? Their team, Software Engineer Dan Tanner-Davies and Matt Graham, a Senior Technical Consultant, came in to talk to our students about the skills they will need when they graduate for a career in technology. Then we align our teaching to train these disciplines. The great part about their guest lecture was that it provided the students with how mobile application development projects work in the real world and how to apply theories they learned in lecture into actual projects. I find that the students really enjoyed the talk and after also got in contact with looking for potential placements in their third year.

How are our digital business partners involved in assessment?

The University Library discuss their digital business need - could you use the same support?
The University Library discuss their digital business need – could you use the same support?

Here at Salford we know study skills are really important too. That is why we have a dedicated team based in the Library to help all students build these skills. They focus on core academic skills that students need like time management, finding information, reading and note-taking, assignment support, critical thinking, understanding feedback and academic writing. They are a core part of our education business and they need to use technology too. They came to be embedded in my module because they too need to develop a mobile approach to support study skills offering a personalised and portable way of e-learning.

The team, Sue Barker-Mathews (Academic Support Librarian), Amy Pearson (Content Developer) and Catherine Tomlin (Academic Skills Consultant) joined lectures from initial case study introduction to the design workshops and attended presentation panels  to assess student application prototypes. This project provided IT undergraduates with a good real-world case study and the challenge of practically applying theories learned in lectures and seminars.

But are you a business that needs help like them? Think about the benefits. They too had a limited budget for their design, but through this process they were able to produce designs and prototypes that could be taken to the next stage for development – perhaps another collaboration with another school in the university. Could you do the same with your business too?

Could you be interested in Digital Business at Salford?

My Mobile App Development module has been running for two years. I regularly review and update contents to make sure students get as much from their time with us and that the course content is relevant to the needs of employers. My teaching method has been presented at conferences where we talked about how we reduce the distance between ourselves and industry and I think our student like this too. By working with industry on the real-world cases, I know we help students bridge the gap between the academic and industrial world which they apply too in their final year projects where they consider technologies and skills learned such as use case diagram and App wireframing.

Follow this link to find out more about the Digital Business programme – it might just be the course for you. I would really like to talk to you too. Perhaps you are a potential student or a business that would like to work with me here at the university on a collaborative project. I am always happy to talk  about the programme and especially the Mobile App Development course, so please connect to me through LinkedIn or e-mail, or you can follow me on Twitter to find out about the other exciting things I am doing with my students. Also, if you know anyone with an industry project who might want to work with our undergraduates, remember to share this article. Hope to speak to you soon.