Concordia University, based in Montreal, has launched a new series of initiatives in partnership with Riipen. With 47,000 students, of which 20% are international students, Concordia has made it a priority to expand experiential learning opportunities.

“We’re excited to make Riipen available to help faculty facilitate those experiences and keep our curriculum current and relevant,” said Nadia Bhyuiyan, Vice-Provost of Partnerships and Experiential Learning. Riipen’s partnership with Concordia aims to give faculty members new teaching tools to increase student engagement while allowing students to gain relevant, real-world experience while still in the classroom. “These micro-experiential learning opportunities will give our students the skills they need to stand out to future employers,” Bhuiyan adds.

According to the Concordia Data Warehouse’s Linguistic Profile of Concordia’s Students for the 2018/2019 year, Concordia had 9,417 students whose mother tongue was French. Out of those students, 20% of them reported using only French when communicating. Seeing as one out of five students at Concordia is francophone, an added benefit of Riipen is that the platform is also available in French. 

To date, 9 different experiential learning initiatives using Riipen have been launched at Concordia. The first professor to adopt a Riipen project was Dr. Danielle Morin in the fall of 2018 for her MBA class in Managerial Analytics. Dr. Morin is a Professor in Supply Chain and Business Technology Management at the John Molson School of Business. Dr. Morin’s class partnered with the Toronto Police Service to create a project focused on how Toronto could be made a safer place to live.

“I wanted my MBA 643 students to experience a real-life situation of data analytics and for many, it was their first consulting experience,” explained Morin. “Overall, this is a strong learning curve but it’s a good experience.”

Students of the class worked in teams of 4-5 to complete tasks designed by the Toronto Police Service’s Business Intelligence Analytic Unit. The students worked on developing and designing metrics and benchmarks to support policymakers and government organizations in order to better coordinate and make Toronto safer.

 “I definitely enjoyed this project,” said Courtney Legault, a student in Dr. Morin’s class. “It was nice seeing how you can apply what you’re learning in class to the real world.”

“I thought that putting the theory from class towards an actual research project using real data provided me with a learning experience that is immensely greater than anything a classroom can provide,” said Christina Marcoux, another student in the class. “The bar is set very high. I view this type of assignment a level above your typical case type assignment. Having a ‘client’ in mind while developing your project pushes you to dig deeper and deliver a better end project.”

Dr. Morin continued to use Riipen projects in her future courses to supplement her students’ learning. Two other projects Dr. Morin’s classes worked on included a real-time hiring demand analysis and an online user experience project for the District of Mission in British Columbia.

Concordia University demonstrates how experiential learning can be used to elevate the student experience and is an important element of a student’s education in preparation for the workforce. For institutions looking to introduce experiential learning into their classrooms or companies looking to interact with upcoming talent, Riipen can help. With a marketplace that connects students and academic institutions with companies, students can gain hands-on experience right in the classroom while networking with industry professionals.

To learn more about Riipen and how you can get started with experiential learning, click HERE.