Southern Cross University launched the innovative Live Ideas program in 2015 to increase connectivity between the needs of our communities and our teaching and research strengths. With an easy to use online form community partners are able to communicate their needs directly to staff and students of the University creating project briefs that are ready to go.
There has been an overwhelming response to the program from industry, and community, with over 300 Live Ideas received to date. Over 70 projects have been completed by students ranging from whole class graphic design briefs to more in depth research projects at the post graduate level. Many partners return each year to provide ongoing authentic learning opportunities for Southern Cross University staff and students.
Live Ideas has increased connectivity between our communities with our teaching, especially where problem and project-based pedagogies are used. Live Ideas removes the need for community partners to know exactly who to connect with providing them with a single point of entry to the University. Live Ideas removes barriers for staff including the time needed to develop relationships and scope appropriate project or problem briefs for their units. This new model has been incredibly useful for academics who wish to embed authentic approaches throughout courses and require a sustainable flow of a range of projects each semester. Live Ideas has increased the agency of students to connect with community partners who are eager to work with students to help solve the problems they face or meet the needs they have. The Live Ideas program is for the whole of the University, so students from all disciplines can search through projects and choose the ones that best suits their interests, skills and the courses they undertake.
An interesting emergent feature of the program, has been the use of Live Ideas by staff for recruiting volunteers to citizen science research, for example the successful ‘Plastic Pollution on North Coast Beaches’ project. Live Ideas was used to recruit 28 volunteers to collect over 1000 plastic bottles on beaches between Coffs Harbour and Tweed Heads in NSW. Researchers investigated sources of these bottles in attempt to determine the relative importance of different plastic sources over this large coastal area.
Explore the exciting range of projects ready to go here www.liveideas.org.au.
To get in touch with the Live Ideas team email firstname.lastname@example.org