Algonquin College provided students with a deeper understanding of online qualitative research by integrating Recollective into their curriculum.
The post-graduate course in Marketing Research & Business Intelligence at Algonquin College has a reputation for teaching innovative techniques. In 2012, shortly after Recollective was formally launched, the MRBI program adopted Recollective as part of their curriculum.
Since then, students have graduated from the program with a deeper understanding and practical experience of online qualitative research. Having hands-on access to a leading-edge “made-in-Canada” online qualitative solution has given MRBI graduates a valuable skill set to offer prospective employers.
The goal of the post-graduate Marketing Research & Business Intelligence (MRBI) program at Algonquin College is to provide students with both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in marketing research tools and techniques.
When the MRBI program was founded, in-person research was the dominant qualitative approach but online qualitative research started to emerge as an alternative with its own set of unique benefits. To keep up with the shifting landscape, the MRBI program needed to provide an overview of the choices in online qualitative research and then to focus on a tool that was both suitable for the Canadian marketplace and was trending as a leader.
With a prior qualitative curriculum focused solely on in-person techniques, Algonquin needed to update and expand the program to accommodate changing trends in research. To start, replicating expensive in-person techniques was too impractical for a single class / course and project clients. Alternatively, online qualitative would allow for a range of qualitative methodologies and approaches to still be explored meaningfully with practical applications.
By incorporating online qualitative, the MRBI program could stay up to date with the shifting research landscape and continue to make their curriculum relevant. Students could then apply what they learn through the course in real world situations once they enter the industry workforce. The key challenge Algonquin faced was finding a technology partner that was a leader in the industry, fit the culture of the school and met the requirements needed for the types of studies conducted at the College.
Algonquin College is also located in Ottawa which is both the capital of Canada and a government dominant city. As such, lots of the client projects done through the program are with or for the public sector. Research done for government departments must use research tools that meet governmental mandates in terms of data security and hosting.
After searching multiple options, Recollective proved to be the best solution because it met all of the College’s requirements regarding innovation, fit and security. From the start, Recollective came on board as a generous and supportive partner. They provided access not only to the Recollective platform but training materials and the support team as well. Each year a Recollective expert visits the classroom to provide hands-on advice as the students design and implement their initial online qualitative research projects on the platform.
It has been a wonderful collaboration as students get the same level of training and access to resources as professional Recollective users. After completing a project on Recollective for a qualitative course (and possibly even using it for their semester project), students can feel confident in their ability to run online qualitative communities going into the workforce.
If an educational program’s intention is to outfit students with actionable skills and experience, the online qualitative relationship that has been cultivated between Recollective and Algonquin College is a model of success and one to follow!
As MRBI students progress through the program and work on “real world” research projects, they have the confidence to encourage their clients to try online qualitative research using Recollective. Knowing that they have the skills and the support to see the project through is invaluable knowledge and key for demonstrating capability when taking their next steps. As MRBI graduates move into the workforce, this unique hands-on experience gives them a competitive advantage, especially with the pool of employers affiliated with the College.