Planning is everything. It may be time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort.
So says Meelan Roopa, lecturer in Business Engineering and Design in the Faculty of Engineering, sharing his story about teaching and learning during the lockdown period.
He says much time was invested in restructuring his method of presenting class and conducting assessments, tailoring them for online learning.
Business Engineering introduces students to the world of business, with engineering taking shape in a business context. In the module, students are tasked with developing business ideas that use Industry 4.0 technologies. They must then pitch these ideas to a panel of judges in a competition.
The top three initiatives in each category are developed further in the module as a business plan and minable viable product (MVP).
The lockdown resulted in the need to host this competition online in what became the NWU Business Engineering Virtual Pitch Event competition.
Meelan says it was a very successful event at which students presented their ideas in four categories: entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, socialpreneurial and technopreneurial. The competition used several online platforms, and in Round 1 the students had to pitch a presentation video, before being peer-evaluated in Round 2. In Round 3, the judges evaluated the videos and the top five students in each category were chosen.
He said in the final round the top students and judges partook in a Q&A session via Zoom or Skype, and after deliberation sessions, the winners were announced.
A panel of eight judges, with two experts – one from academia and the other from industry – in each category, were involved in the competition.
Meelan says although the planning was very time-consuming, it was well worth the effort.
Mr Meelan Roopa