Thinking out of the box

Real world: INTI has collaborated with 202 employers from different industries for the Employers Projects.

THE education landscape is ever evolving, and INTI International University and Colleges (INTI) is headlining the transformation with its #rethinkEDU campaign.

The #rethinkEDU campaign champions the rethinking of what education is all about, as well as providing students with a platform to realise their passion.

“The way we teach and why we think we’re different from the rest is because we’ve got this whole way of looking at education and it’s just not about the A’s. INTI believes in empowering students by equipping them with the 4C’s; critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication,” says INTI International University and Colleges marketing vice-president Timothy Johnson.

INTI has collaborated with 202 employers from different industries for the Employer Projects, which facilitate students’ development of the 4C’s through the real world work exposure.

In these Employer Projects, students resolve real case studies and industry-relevant problems where, after presenting their solutions to the employers, their solutions will be implemented.

“We worked in partnership with Tropfest, which is the world’s largest short film festival, to provide our School of Mass Communications students, with the experience of being mini apprentices throughout the event.

“Our students also had the opportunity to meet up with Christopher Doyle, an Australian-Hong Kong award-winning cinematographer who often works on Chinese language films. He conducted a two-hour master class during the Tropfest event on Feb 1, where he gave the students tips,” said Johnson.

The Employer Projects usually begin with a project brief and assembly of a team, followed by checkpoint reviews in between the project timeline and ending with a presentation.

Johnson: ‘We’re not just preparing them (the students) for Malaysia, we’re preparing them for a global workforce.’
Johnson: ‘We’re not just preparing them (the students) for Malaysia, we’re preparing them for a global workforce.’

Each Employer Project spans an estimated three months.

Some successful students have made such an impact in these projects that they have been promised jobs upon graduation.

Apart from that, there is an upcoming contest called INTI Codefest 2.0, organised by INTI’s Faculty of Information Sciences, together with partner university, University of Wollongong.

This contest is held among all INTI students to develop an application or game that involves generating ideas and design based on the theme “Reinventing Education”, in line with INTI’s marketing campaign on #rethinkEDU.

The applications are to be used on the latest 3-dimensional or virtual reality (VR) gadget inspired by Google, known as Google Cardboard.

The participants are not only trained by lecturers, but also third-party figures, as the coding on the Unity software is fairly new in the industry.

Since the implementation of the campaign in October 2014, there has been a double-digit boost in the numbers of student intake.

On challenges in revamping the education landscape, Johnson mentions that the biggest challenge is changing mindsets.

“There will always be a difference in opinion of what matters, to parents and their children. What’s going to happen is that technology will change that mindset at a fast pace because the students we’re preparing for now, we’re not just preparing them for Malaysia, we’re preparing them for a global workforce.

“Another thing which we really want to drive at is to make learning lifelong. I think that’s important because people should not stop learning and I believe that’s what #rethinkEDU is about – the idea where you keep on learning instead of stopping after you obtain your degree.”

Besides that, INTI enhances the learning environment by integrating virtual sharing, collaboration and innovation into its new technologies.

In a fast paced world where the average attention span is declining, it is vital for fast information and retaining of information through doing instead of plain listening.

This is exemplified by unique programmes such as Blackboard, Gamification, and Flipped Classroom.

Blackboard is a flexible learning management tool used to implement a Blended-Learning approach, which promotes collaborative work outside the classroom and keeps lessons fun and interactive via portable devices.

Gamification is a programme that incorporates the mechanics of a game into students’ assignments.

By doing so, students improve their analytical thinking, team building, collaboration, multi-tasking and problem-solving skills as well as receive immediate feedback on their performance.

“Through the use of Flipped Classroom, students can first learn concepts at home and later attend classes for deeper, action-oriented learning and develop their problem solving skills. With prior understanding of the concepts, students will be able to provide their own opinions, generate discussions, collaborate or interact with one another with hands-on activities in class,” Johnson explains.

INTI’s position is to reinvent the education space, by implementing all these initiatives and also the 3I’s.

The 3I’s represent being individuals, innovative and international.

“We believe that if we imbue these 3I’s in people and demonstrate it through the different things that we do, the INTI graduates that we release out there will be a reflection of what we like to teach our students,” says Johnson.

“When students first enrolled in INTI, they started off from not knowing where they wanted to go or what they wanted to do. It’s a very important business we’re in right now; it’s the business of transforming lives. Parents are giving us their children and trusting their children with us.

“It is very important that we take care of this trust by harnessing their passion and preparing them well before releasing them into the world with these skill sets.”

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