USask faculty members have been taking advantage of our new partnership with the Riipen project-based learning platform. Riipen provides an all-in-one platform for connecting, communicating, sharing documents, and managing deadlines between stakeholders (instructors, students, and community/industry partners). This post highlights the experiences within two USask courses.
Within the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, faculty member Dr. Sabine Liebenehm, wanted her upper-year Agricultural Economics students to be able to complete a business analysis on a real company and provide a report and an executive presentation. She worked with Riipen to onboard two local companies and connect them to the groups of students within the platform. In addition to these two local companies, Riipen facilitated the connection between USask students and a vertical farming start-up in California. This connection truly highlights that potential of Riipen, as there is no way that this connection would have happened without the support provided.
As outputs of these projects, student groups 1) developed strategies to enhance the uptake of agricultural DNA testing tools, 2) assessed the economic viability of the vertical farm, and 3) assessed whether large companies in Canada are willing to invest in technologies for producers that reduce environmental impacts and source greenhouse gas credits.
In Edwards School of Business, Dr. Shan Wang has also been using Riipen this fall to offer project-based learning in an upper year Business Analytics course. Students are developing their analytical skills, including handling “dirty data”. The students received with a large dataset from a national company. The sensitive data fields were changed, but the remaining figures were all authentic. Dr. Wang’s students went through the entire process of data analysis, including communicating with clients to understand their requirements, data cleaning, data analysis, and storytelling (i.e., reporting). Riipen enabled this connection between the students and the national company.
Both faculty members attest to the fact that the support provided by Riipen has been very helpful. Dr. Liebenehm points out that, “Riipen has fantastic instructor support making it very easy to get the class online. Students benefit through obtaining experiences, receiving feedback from the company, and building relationships.” Dr. Wang describes the platform as, “super-easy to use.” Riipen can also be integrated within Canvas at USask to streamline the account creation stage.
Riipen is available to be used free-of-charge by USask instructors in any course looking to incorporate experiential learning via work-integrated learning, community-engaged learning, placements, internships, or practica. It can be used to streamline existing partnerships and to find new ones locally, nationally, and internationally. Contact Brock at the Student Employment and Career Centre for more information or to get started.