MIEC Students experience real-world project-based learning in a cross-campus collaboration

Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 14:30

As part of continuing effort of the Maynooth International Engineering College (MIEC) to deliver the highest quality teaching, Computer Science lecturer, Dr Dapeng Dong, has recently connected his MIEC students with his Maynooth University (MU) students in a cross-campus project collaboration. He explains that “the main intentions of the project were to bridge the gap between theory and practice and to improve students' engagement”.
Dr Dong teaches Software Engineering & Software Process module to both MIEC students in Fuzhou and to MU students based in Ireland. He invited both classrooms to create project teams and to enter their projects in a competition sponsored by an Irish company, Albatel, providing payroll management solutions. Albatel proposed a project entitled “HR Health Check Report Management System” and the students were briefed by Albatel’s Senior Business Development Manager, Ann-Marie Daly on the business and project specifics.
The MIEC recognises the significant impact that the pandemic has had on students’ inter-personal development and strives to foster a real-world perspective that enhances students’ academic experience and increases employability after graduation.
Dr Dong reveals that “considering the rapid development of technologies in the ICT sector and the dynamic job market, employers are looking for students having up-to-date knowledge, ability to use new technologies and transferable skills. The students, our future IT professionals, need to see and to experience the complexity and the challenges that exist in real-world application development.” He adds that is the development of the project in teams serves as a virtual integration that integrates knowledge, technical skills and transferable skills like communication, team working, management and creative problem-solving.
Dr Dong highlights that we may need to walk out of the comfort zone and explore effective teaching strategies tailored for particular groups of students. He also notes that it is important for the students to see how people from different cultural backgrounds approach to the same challenge. For the MIEC students, that was the opportunity to observe the performance of their MU counterparts and to get insight into their study in Maynooth campus.
Dr Dong has been continuously working to foster strong relationship between the MIEC and the MU Computer Science department. The success of the collaboration is possible through cross-campus work groups, strategic partnerships, and innovative teaching practices.
MIEC & MU Students will be delivering their final outcomes to Albatel at the end of May. We look forward to hearing the results of the project competition. Best of luck to all involved!