Learners Gain Valuable Experience Solving Real-World Employer Challenges
HEaRT is a not-for-credit, optional experience for SNHU online learners. HEaRT participants can earn badges and pursue it as a pathway to stackable credentials. The HEaRT model has proven to be agile and adaptive to meet the needs of learners in a variety of degree programs. In summer 2020, HEaRT was adapted to include an employer-based diversity, equity, and inclusion program and was opened to students in social science and business degree programs.
HEaRT offers learners an advantage when they pursue their post-academic career goals: Participants gain vital experience in real-world, employment-based challenges, and crucial skills and knowledge in applying a team-based, problem-solving method to these learning experiences.
Students access HEaRT using the D2L Brightspace platform. In the traditional HEaRT model, participants have access to a course with the employer’s information and specific resources related to a challenge. The Brightspace platform allows for robust team collaboration through Discussion Boards. Students can share documents and create threads to organize their collaborative efforts.
The course includes five phases, with each phase including content to help learners navigate through the challenge and culminating with a team deliverable, including an executive summary and presentation for the employer.
Julia, a HEaRT student, says, “Working in a team is a skill that is so much needed at the workplace, and the HEaRT internship provides exactly that. The resources provided are so good, and it helped me unpack the impending shortage of nurses and what companies should do to avoid the problem.”
HEaRT is also reimagining the role of faculty by placing them in a supportive position so they can use their expertise to offer guidance and recommendations as mentors. The Brightspace platform provides mentors with an easy way to support students and note their progress through the challenge. To ensure the scalability and sustainability of HEaRT, SNHU made use of intelligent agents within the Brightspace platform. One specifically was created to trigger an email to the mentors to inform them when teams have submitted all required deliverables.