“In the second year of the Hotel Management course, our students do an international internship. That means that we can expect nice internship reports from all those students. All those stories form a wealth of knowledge, anecdotes and experiences about their experiences in a different culture. That information is interesting for me as a researcher, but it is certainly as useful for the students themselves. They can learn from each other. Because although the students are in completely different places in the world, they often have shared experiences. We wanted to do something with this. The blog function of Simulise gave us the opportunity to give all those stories extra value.
Simulise offers all students the opportunity to upload blogs. On the one hand, we use this as an educational tool: the blogs must meet certain requirements and they are assessed by the teacher with a gold, silver or bronze badge. But the blogs also have a social component. In the 'social stream' the students (and teachers) see all the blogs passing by. You can label and respond to this. Students actively ask each other questions and share special stories about, for example, cultural differences. Because the students post a blog for the community, they really sit down for a moment. They do their best to make a beautiful and inspiring story with stimulating titles and beautiful photos.
A nice side effect is that we also use all blogs as a source of information for education. We extract the most typical or interesting cases, and we incorporate them into education. As a researcher I also find the blogs very valuable. It provides me with a wealth of data about their experiences, the choice of comments and the insights they gain during their internship.
Simulise offers enough options to adjust the modules to your own preferences. For example, we call Simulise 'Curious People' because it fits in well with the values of our education. My colleague Josje van Dongen sets out assignments related to trend spotting and innovation. The students blog about this theme too, and that fits in perfectly with the concept of Curious People. You can also adjust assignments per user group, you can determine who has access to which part and you can also assess all assignments. For example, Simulise is not only a social blog platform, but it really has an educational function.
We intend to use Simulise for other purposes besides blogging. Of course it takes some getting used to using such a tool throughout the organization. And not everyone is as useful when it comes to new programs and techniques. But the broader your Simulise bet, the easier it becomes to work with. That only applies to colleagues; students find it very easy to work with. It works just as intuitively for them as the social media on which they sit every day. That is why we also involve students in giving instruction to teachers and students. Community Involvement, we call it. That is just part of the curriculum, but it is also very nice that students are actively involved in the platform.
I hope that Simulise continues to grow and develop. For us, it is a tool that we already enjoy using the blogs with, but that we hope to be able to use in many more areas in the future. "