Work from Anywhere

How Swansea University made int’l collaboration and distance learning a success

As one of six Welsh and Irish university partners in the Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network, Swansea University Medical School recognised that effective communication would be key to the success of the project.

The network – supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation program – helps businesses to innovate, grow and develop new life-changing health products.

“We realised that effective communication was the key to the success of our network,” Gareth Healey, senior lecturer at Swansea University Medical School, said.

[quote]“A key success measure for CALIN is the number of collaborations we develop”[/quote]

“We needed to properly understand what businesses required so that we could match them to the right specialists to develop their products. A major challenge was working out how to communicate clearly and easily across two countries, with multiple research institutions and many businesses.”

To provide the unified collaboration capabilities needed by CALIN, Swansea University selected GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar by LogMeIn.

“The GoTo suite of tools stood out for me because we needed something that was easy to use and could be readily adopted by our partners,” Healey explained.

“We had a lot of support from the LogMeIn onboarding team, and our partners were quickly able to begin collaborating online.”

GoToMeeting is used across the network multiple times per day to facilitate online meetings between partners and businesses. Participants can join meetings remotely from any location, so there is no need to travel.

Initially, GoToWebinar was used to host webinars to promote the activities of CALIN and to establish best practice.

The ease of use meant the tool was soon deployed more widely to deliver webinars to students on masters courses at Swansea University. A series of webinars has now been developed to teach modules specifically designed for distance learning.

Implementing GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar has enabled academics, businesses and specialists to communicate often complex ideas effectively and easily among multiple parties in different locations.

The resulting cost and time savings are considerable, while the quality and frequency of communication and knowledge-sharing across CALIN has been greatly enhanced.

In addition, implementing these tech solutions has enabled Swansea University to enhance its teaching in advanced medical sciences.

It can now reach out to students beyond the classroom, and host webinars by experts from outside the university to widen the pool of expertise available to students.

“A key success measure for CALIN is the number of collaborations we develop,” Healey added.

“Using the GoTo tools has reduced the time it takes to contact businesses and develop projects, while enabling our projects to be managed more effectively and proactively. We want to continue growing our network, and the GoTo products have an important role to play in helping us do that.”

As the education sector across the world continues to manage the issues that the current Covid-19 pandemic has introduced, it has created opportunities for learnings in the medium term surrounding the use of hybrid learning that enhances the student experience by incorporating the most appropriate balance of in-person and distance learning for that subject and age group.

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