HERA evaluation took place in the Aalborg University Copenhagen campus, which hosts approximately 3.300 students. Approximately half are enrolled in Technology and Engineering, and more precisely in the Bachelor Program on IT Communication and New Media and the Master’s Program on Innovative Communication, Entrepreneurship, and Cyber Security. These 3 programs are part of the Technology Faculty at Aalborg University and belong to the Department of Electronics, which is the biggest department of AAU. The students that are admitted in these 3 programs may select among 3 different engineering specialties, and specifically Cyber security, Communication Technologies, and Media and Entrepreneurship. Students enrolled in the 3 programs engaged in HERA project work as part of the problem-based learning program at AAU.
Common characteristics among the students in these programs are:
- They have a strong technical understanding.
- They are solid programmers and often develop applications or services of various forms.
- They understand the process of software development.
- They understand the market and how that can be included in the service and application development work they are engaged in.
- They understand economic and financial challenges linked to software development and can do economic analyses of various kinds.
Based on the above student interests lie in communication technologies, programming, software development, market analysis, and how the market can impact on the service development. Students work in cloud computing, machine learning and IoT, and understand how these can be developed from an economic perspective. All students use digital learning platforms, such as Moodle®, Dropbox®, Skype®, Zoom®, and many more.
Generally, there is a huge need for these profiles on the Danish market. Many of the students already have a student job before leaving the university and are in that way well-integrated in a company before they are a candidate. All students engage in problem-based learning and therefore they need soft skills such as teamwork communication, creativity, complex problem solving, how to give feedback, etc. The HERA project evaluation should, therefore, support skills these students need.
Three courses have been selected to be eligible for the HERA evaluations:
- Problem-based Learning.
- Innovation and Business Models.
- Managerial Economics and Entrepreneurship.
A total of 50 students across the abovementioned courses participated in the HERA evaluation.