Real World Ready

This unit provides a real-world opportunity for students working on an innovation problem as part of the capstone experience of the Bachelor of Business. Students are supported to work in small groups to respond to a real industry innovation challenge and work collaboratively to develop and present a solution to the industry partner. Students also engage with a structured problem solving framework, developing capacities in innovative and critical thinking and entrepreneurialism. They are encouraged to review existing practices which could be enhanced, review what others in the sector are doing and consider how this could be adapted, o derive a new idea.

Innovative Features

  • Students engage with the industry partner, currently the Brisbane City Council, in exploring complex, unstructured problems
  •  Engagement with Deloitte to incorporate elements of their graduate training program to support structured problem solving
  • Students work in small interdisciplinary teams of five students based on diversity of major and double degree profile


    • Industry partnerships in both providing and supporting the innovation problem space, as well as delivering key learning for students
    • Student innovation thinking is also supported through an industry panel exploring mega trends which are shaping the future of our city
    • Freedom by faculty leadership to be accommodating of possibilities: a simple goal of “make it awesome”
    • Learning design support for consistent styles and coherent design

    Unit Impacts & Outcomes

    For students:

    • The unit provides a safe space for students to participate in challenging situations building their confidence in sharing their ideas and presenting innovations
    • Students have felt supported in developing links between theories, models and frameworks of thinking, and how they connect these to real world innovation and practice
    • The learning opportunities create the necessary skill development and resilience to navigate spaces of uncertainty

    For industry:

    • Industry has provided significant positive feedback with the industry partner having identified a number of proposed solutions which are being developed further with the support of the associated student teams
    • The student projects have been able to support the development of innovation and enterprise approaches within the industry partner connecting across most areas of the business

    For teaching:

    • To scale this approach requires online solutions, such as live streaming lectures to ensure all students have the opportunity to engage in a shared learning experience, online support modules to complement industry mentoring and coaching opportunities, and the management of team communication and IP through corporate systems.With student presentations it is ideal, and to ensure easily moderated results, to work towards three markers per presentation (one focused on the ideas and solutions, one reviewing the individual presentation styles, and one focused on the content of the presentation); a challenge in scaling the unit has been in maintaining this number of assessors

    Learning Outcome

    1. Develop innovative and effective strategies to help an organisation meet its objectives in relation to a real-world problem or opportunity.
    2. Communicate information, evaluations and recommendations effectively and to a range of audiences through concise visual, spoken and written forms of presentation.
    3. Demonstrate your ability to work effectively as a team, with and through others, to identify and utilise the individual and collective strengths of team members in real-world contexts.
    4. Critically reflect on your university and working experiences to identify and communicate your professional strengths and capabilities to professional audiences.

    Evidencing & Assessment Strategies

    The Value of participating in the Edge project has enabled the Match Studio site lead to engage with an academic ‘tribe’ also seeking to push the boundaries of what constitutes WIL and developing strategies and processes that can inform innovations to Work Integrated Learning in the higher education sector.

    The online and face to face meetings and forums with colleagues working in the WIL space has enabled me to gain insights into the multiple challenges faced and how others have worked to resolve them. It has provided me with a practice focused discourse to inform and consider if my peers approaches might be relevant to Match Studio’s current and future delivery of interdisciplinary project-based WIL and inspired revisions to our workshop content.

    The model depends on having sufficient sustainable resourcing, agile teams, flexible structures and operational support. Linking Match Studio projects to academic programs assists in ensuring that the model remains sustainable and has ongoing student participation. Research grants and opportunities provide additional sustainability. This particular WIL model has considerably high resource requirements, cannot be run solo or by relatively small teams

    Reflection on Learnings:

    Participation in the project has supported the development of a materials to support coaching conversations, which were first intended to target industry partners in mentoring the different student groups.  However, these modules have also provided support for students in asking the right questions as part of coaching conversations, and will enable to transition of coaching in the unit from the current model of one coach-to-one team across 6 weeks, to a coach-to-tutorial ratio with a smaller targeted time period.  This is important to support the ongoing scaling of the unit towards 1,500 enrolments.


    With teams not forming themselves it is important to ensure that they are supported to meet in different ways.  The experience of this unit has highlighted that online meeting spaces are most effective, it was also determined that the proper management of intellectual property meant that some available platforms (e.g. Facebook groups) were not to be encouraged.  A corporate collaboration space (e.g. MS Teams) manages issues around IP, as well as provides a useful digital record of team engagement and communication which can support evidencing of skills.




    Timothy Donnet

    QUT Business School