March 15, 2016 • Written by BIT Program
On Friday, March 4th, 2016, the 2016 Wiley Accounting Workshop was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. The workshop, which was sponsored by Wiley and CPA Canada, saw over 80 participants including educators from academic institutions across western Canada.
The workshop featured Valerie Warren and Red River College instructor Lori Novak who shared the results of a survey of accounting students across Canada on their readiness for and challenges faced in their accounting courses. The presentation challenged the audience to put themselves in the position of their students and to try to understand the challenges communicated by the students who participated in the survey.
The presentation was followed by discussion with other instructors as well as with students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University who were attending the workshop. After the discussions, ideas were presented for overcoming the challenges that students expressed in the survey.
Lori Novak is the co-author of the accounting textbook, Accounting Principles Seventh Canadian Edition, Volume 1 and Volume 2 which was published in November of 2015 and March of 2016 respectively.
More information about the Wiley Accounting Workshop can be found here: https://cpaefblog.bccpa.ca/wiley-accounting-workshop-supports-bc-academics/
February 24, 2016 • Written by BIT Program
Professional Development Workshops
As part of the implementation of the E-Portfolio to students in the Accounting and Computer Education department we will be developing professional development workshops. Every week there will be two hours included in the student’s schedule for professional development and every semester will focus on how the students can expand and modify their portfolio as they learn new skills. By establishing regular classroom sessions students will be given direction on the creation and maintenance of their portfolio in both a group setting and individually. The importance of these workshops will be to prepare students for their co-op and industry project work terms and ultimately their job search for full time employment.
In the first semester students will be learning about what a portfolio is, how to create it, what to include in it and how to document their learning. At the beginning of each subsequent semester students will be taught how to reflect on their learning from their previous semester and include examples of the skills that they developed in and out of school. In the second semester the focus will be developing and enhancing their portfolio further and preparing for an industry mock interview.
In addition to the E-Portfolio students will be learning job search skills, cover letter and resume preparation, interview skills as they prepare for co-op. Students will be able to reflect on and get feedback on the co-op process as they apply for jobs and experience industry interviews. During their work term and upon return for their final semester students can use this time to add relevant skill sets to their portfolio and document their learning. In their final semester students will reflect on their overall learning, academically and from industry to modify their portfolio into a document that will impress employers.
As you have seen in previous blogs we are currently training to be able to show learners how to use an E-Portfolio and build it through Mahara. There are 8 staff members from the ACE department that are among those taking an 8 week course in E-Portfolios. We are looking to implement the concept of E-Portfolios to the Business Technology Management students in the second half of this semester. Then we will begin the Professional Development workshops in September for both the current BTM students and the new intake in the fall.
January 21, 2016 • Written by BIT Program
We have just started into another iteration of the Business Information Technology (BIT) industry project course. We hope to continue giving students great learning opportunities building solutions from inception to delivery where all the things that can happen on a project – can and do happen.
I have found that some of the most valuable learning experiences that come out of project are born from, as one instructor described, “chaos in learning.” The unexpected will occur, assumptions that you made about the products you are creating turn out to be wrong, technology doesn’t co-operate, and communicating and dealing with your project team turns out to be harder than you thought. The students have to deal with all of this, and have the added pressure of interacting with and delivering to a real-world client. All of these aspects give the students the learning experiences that we can’t give them in the confines of a usual classroom setting.
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January 4, 2016 • Written by BIT Program
An e-portfolio is a way for you to keep track of your learning and to have something to present to employers when you graduate.
Why Create an E-Portfolio?
• To help you get a job
• To help you take control of your own learning
• To help you keep track of what you learned
• To help you prepare for job interviews
• To help you be more confident
What To Include in an E-Portfolio
• Letters of reference
• Thank you letters
• Degrees, diplomas or certificates
• Awards (ex: honour roll certificate)
• Examples of technology skills
• Volunteering and community work
• Cover letter
• Peer reviews
• Instructor reviews
• Course outlines
How To Create an E-Portfolio
There are many online resources to help you build an e-portfolio such as LinkedIn.com and Weebly.com. If you would like to create an offline portfolio, a tool such as Microsoft OneNote is a good option.
Be sure to keep your portfolio as organized and detailed as possible, building a portfolio over time will ensure that all your skills and work are represented and can be drawn from when needed.
December 1, 2015 • Written by BIT Program
The objective of this project is to provide students with the opportunity to create a professional portfolio using an ePortfolio product called Mahara. We will pilot this in the BTM program with a group of 30 students starting in January 2016. Lead instructors will be trained in portfolio facilitation and development to provide guidance to students. Students will create ePortfolios based on the program outcomes, course outcomes, college wide learning outcomes and other skills and abilities they may have.
Benefits of an ePortfolio implementation in the college
- Portfolios are a great mode of assessment to determine knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA)
- Students will self-assess their learning and take ownership of their learning as they complete their ePortfolios and program
- Students will have an ePortfolio to show potential employers
- During co-op placement
- During Industry project placement
- After graduation, as a lifelong learning resource
- Students are accountable for mastering content standards in subject areas
- Portfolios can help students who would like to continue their studies and receive RPL credits
- Assessment portfolios promote communication between teachers and students
- Faculty advising easier as students can show their learning progress through ePortfolio
- Helps students get interview as it shows more than just a resume and cover letter
- Help students reflection on KSA and develop skills in meaningful self-assessment
- More student instructor collaboration
November 30, 2015 • Written by BIT Program
The Solar Panels
Red River College solar panels
Designed and installed by Solar Solutions in 2002, the Red River College Exchange District Campus had a solar energy system installed on the side of the Princess building that was, at the time, the largest of its kind in Canada. These environmentally friendly solar panels were installed to provide the college with energy that could be collected from the sun and used by Red River College students and staff. As time passed, these solar panels were left to do their job and were otherwise forgotten about.
Laptop connected to control panel
This past summer (summer of 2015), a team consisting of Haider Al-Saidi, Miguel Guzman and Sylvia Froese set out to find out more about these solar panels. The team wanted to know how much energy was being produced by the panels at what times, what these panels were powering and how they could use this data for educational purposes throughout the college. Read More →
November 18, 2015 • Written by BIT Program
Abstract: At the early stages of startups development they need to change. They must change and adapt to the market. As the young entrepreneurs learn more about their business, their market, and their customers they need to incorporate that knowledge into their business plan. The business plan at that stage of development in the author’s opinion is a dynamic document that keeps evolving until it reaches a state of maturity. And even then there is a level of adaptation takes place based on the changes in the market, technology and other external factors like policies and regulations. On the other hand most of our funding and startups help programs assume all applicants to be at the final state of maturity (there are few programs target the early stages of development) which put young startups at a great disadvantage and they are automatically disqualified in being part of these programs. The author believes that this requirement is just a filtering process to make sure that funds are allocated to mature ideas where there is a higher probability of success. This model is working to a degree, but the question is how many good ideas are disregarded due to the lack of support or the environment to foster them. Many young startups especially in the IT field fail to continue beyond their first year due to the lack of support regardless of the idea. Young entrepreneurs will have to go back to the job search engines to start new career and abandon their ideas no matter how good they are. In this article the author will suggest a model on how post-secondary educational institutes can build that support in their programs and help new entrepreneurs reach the level of maturity to be qualified for other programs. The author will demonstrate that with an experiment conducted by the department of Accounting and Computer Education at Red River College. The author proposes the utilization of the co-op and project terms offered by many programs to help entrepreneurs’ idea cross the gap between the moment of the inception of that idea and the point when they are qualified for other programs.
Date of Publication: October 2015
Author: Haider Al-Saidi
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November 3, 2015 • Written by BIT Program
The idea of Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) is not new, it’s been around for quite some time. It may not be a real position in a firm or educational institute. Matter of fact, there are few variations to the function of this “position” depending on the firm or the institute. Here, I will focus on our implementation which is still in the experimental phase, never the less it produced so far an excellent results. The Accounting and Computer Education (ACE) department at Red River College (RRC) requires that students do an industry project as part of their education. The projects are typically provided by industry partners (usually well established organizations). They are real projects with specific outcomes. The students and faculty work on the projects and deliver the results by the end of the term. This year ACE wanted to open the door to young organizations in their early stages of development. An entrepreneur with a sound idea can qualify to be the Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) who will work directly with faculty and students to further develop the idea and change it to a real product. The investment to create this “position” is just a desk and safe environment where the Students, Faculty, and the EIR can brainstorm to transform the idea into something that is of benefit for everyone. The results were phenomenal, we can judge by the response of the students who took just a bare idea and in a short time transformed it into a product that can be displayed and demonstrated to the world. The interaction between the EIR and students was something of great interest, first this direct interaction taught the students how to be innovators themselves. Second, the EIR demonstrated first hand to the students how to pursue the path of being independent and how exciting to have a dream. There are other accomplishments achieved beside the academic goals that must be achieved as part of the students development in this term.
The overall experience was wonderful, we can say that in a short period of time with the help of an EIR we created more entrepreneurs with more ideas.
Date of Publication: October 2015
Author: Haider Al-Saidi
October 6, 2015 • Written by BIT Program
Dean of Business and Applied Arts, Graham Thomson trying the Google Cardboard
On October 6th, 2015, the President and CEO of Red River College, Mr. Paul Vogt visited the BIT/BTM Project Space. He was given a tour of the project space as well as an introduction to the various projects being developed there under the guidance of BIT Space Development.
The chair of the Accounting and Computer Education department, Haider Al-Saidi, presented his vision for the future of the project space and his hopes that the project space will continue and grow and be the host for more innovative ideas and a way for Red River College students to learn valuable skills in a real world project environment.
Haider Al-Saidi presenting his vision for the BIT/BTM Project Space
September 28, 2015 • Written by BIT Program
Student Life App
Team Members: Jie Chen, Fiona Grant, Samara Hoffmann, Skye Valde
Goal: Support students’ decisions when coming to Red River College by presenting pertinent information and leading them through a process of LIFE (Living, I [as in me], Finances, and Employment) self-assessment so they can consider how ready they are for college life.
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