The decision to adopt a digital platform as a new training method, promises to bring future graduates closer to the career they want.
Copenhagen Business Academy is Denmark’s largest business academy. A few months ago, this academic institution decided to implement Blackboard Open LMS.
The decision was made in order to better prepare students for ‘real-world’ work environments. Copenhagen Business Academy achieved this through various activities and practical exercises where students can develop the skills needed to perform well.
Carsten Storgaard, who has worked with digital learning for more than 20 years, is a key member at Copenhagen Business Academy. He monitors, supports, trains, and encourages teachers and students to use technology within the Blackboard Open LMS platform. He also participated in the creation of a guide containing seven key initiatives to help students find the ideal job opportunity.
1. Teachers organize teams of five to seven students with multidisciplinary competences, in order to offer them holistic knowledge through specific tools and according to current labor market needs.
2. The courses are developed based on real business cases. Teams apply their knowledge with real-life challenges in mind in order to find practical solutions. Courses are designed for periods of 4 to 5 weeks. Storgaard explains that, “Four hours of economics and four of accounting or marketing don’t exist anymore.” Students work on projects to gain the experience of working firsthand with clients. First, the cases are thoroughly explained, and then the students must implement applicable theories to those particular cases.
3. Thanks to Blackboard Open LMS, professionals from different fields, such as accounting, economics or business administration can create versatile, quality contents. The courses aim to meet participants’ specific needs, including time flexibility. With Blackboard Open LMS, individual work can also be included within group activities. This methodology seeks to make the students’ academic process more efficient and engaging.
4. The workshop module and forums are key areas to begin tasks, initiate discussions, and deliver feedback between students and teachers. There is also a Wiki tool to create definitions, concepts, and personalized portfolios. Additionally, the Mahara, GAFE, and Office 365 platforms offer options that strengthen group work.
5. Storgaard points out that Copenhagen Business Academy programs offer a variety of courses related to finance and economics that last for 4 and 6 weeks. “The idea is that our students end up working for banks, insurers, real estate companies, or within marketing or administrative service areas.” It is expected that about 12,000 students will participate at the beginning of next year.
6. New educational technologies benefit both students and teachers. “The advantages for the latter are summarized by being able to build coherent courses through programs with an interface that has certain reusable forms and contents. In this way, some teachers would be moving from an imperious system to another one considered a ‘playground.’ In addition, with Blackboard Open LMS, teachers can easily carry out their activities and will surely engage their students,” says Storgaard.
7. The main difference between regular university academic programs and the Copenhagen Business Academy digital program is that, with Blackboard Open LMS, there is a ‘window’ to promote discussions. It offers an excellent communication channel to share practical knowledge. Additionally, a variety of activities provide students with experience in real-work situations.
Each of these strategies were designed to increase future professionals’ chances in their quest to find a job where they are happy, able to succeed, and recognized as skillful agents of change. Thanks to Blackboard Open LMS, Copenhagen Business Academy discovered new tools of the digital age that provide a quality education that is not just focused on theory, but also on practice and analysis.
* Carsten Storgaard, Learning Technology Ninja at Copenhaguen Business Academy.
* AFP Claus Bjorn