Friday 23 August 2019

A Different Approach

Sharing knowledge is what the ACE Program is all about, blogs, white papers, books and presentations. 

ACEs having been speaking at education facilities for many years, in UKOUG we encouraged this through our "Next Generation' initiative and many ACEs actually work part time in Education sharing their knowledge.

The way we consume knowledge is also changing, meet-ups and webcasts are now the norm and video is the way we learn everything from changing a fuse to practically rocket science.

That said I have recently, along with Michelle Malcher and Tim Hall, been involved in a slightly different initiative. 

Bambi Price who for a long time was a volunteer and Board Member with both AUSOUG and ODTUG is now outside the mainstream Oracle community and one of her many roles is with the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Bambi contacted me earlier in the year and asked if I could help with a trial they were running. They have students studying Business and IT and ideally they would want to have time out in industry learning from 'real life', but this isn't always possible, so they wanted to try something different for this using Problem Based Learning. This is a key way they can help students who cannot access an internship acquire and engage with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in practice.

The topic was to be the provisioning of Cloud Services and would cover 4 weeks:

Week1:  Intro to Oracle and their Cloud Strategy
Week2:  Databases in the Cloud
Week3:  Security
Week4: They present back their thoughts 

For each session we recorded 3 or 4 short videos which were played and then they discussed each point and went onto the next one. I was happy to deliver week1 but needed some friends for the others so I reached out to Michelle and Tim, who were both happy to be involved. One of the key requirements is that the student feels exposed to industry and practice.  To help with this the videos were very focused and we were asked to keep mentioning Swinburne to ensure they felt part of it.

The feedback from the university was very positive and 21 students took part in the module. Some have reached out directly through linkedin and I love the fact we are a part of their network as they go forward into the industry.

The course director Stuart McLoughlin told us 'Whilst we have some tweaking to do in terms of delivery, the vast majority of the students responded enthusiastically to the new pedagogy'

It did take time to plan and prepare but the 3 of us loved being involved and exciting students with Oracle technology is great for the future.