Computing 4 Week Challenge returns
Student teams design, develop and market treasure hunt apps
The annual 4 Week Challenge started off the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) latest batch of first year computing students’ time here in Preston.
It is the eighth consecutive year that the module has run, with the students beginning their journey with a competition to design, develop and market their own treasure hunt apps.
Students from a range of computing-based courses took part in the module in which they were tasked with designing and developing an app, followed by a marketing campaign in order to promote it.
‘Flower Power’ managed to come out on top as the winning team, after a successful showcasing at the Harrington Social Space.
Max Duffy was taking part in his fourth 4 Week Challenge, with this being his third in an advisory role to help the new students.
He said the module is a brilliant way to start their time at UCLan, given how it helps to break the ice as well as developing the undergraduates.
"It’s a really important opportunity to show off students’ work, and to come along and share the experience. There’s such a buzz and it shows the possibility of things you can achieve."
“It’s a whole module in four weeks,” he stated. “Hopefully it gives the students a good foundation to build good grades and it also familiarises the students with how the University works. They have to work all across campus and use different utilities, such as the library and our computing rooms. It helps build close friendships amongst the groups and also build a good rapport with the tutors. It immediately helped make the tutors more approachable to me, as I knew their names and could hold a conversation.
“The best part is always the final day, when everything comes to an end and the students can look back on what they’ve achieved in four weeks, present it to their classmates and the public, and then actually use the app they created in a treasure hunt later in the day. There’s something so fun about how all your work pays off and then you get the treasure at the end.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lynne Livesey attended the showcase and she was particularly impressed with the ability that the students demonstrated, despite only being at the University for a short time.
“It’s a fantastic event, and I’m amazed at what the students have achieved in four weeks,” she said.
“They’re confident speakers and have worked well as teams. That often takes a full year so I’m blown away by people doing it in just four weeks.
“It’s a really important opportunity to show off students’ work, and to come along and share the experience. There’s such a buzz and it shows the possibility of things you can achieve.”
Computing lecturer Lesley May helped to preside over the module, and she is delighted at the impact that it has had once again.
“The Computing 4 Week Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for the students to get really involved and engaged with their course from the very first day,” she commented.
“It helps us create a great community feel, where they get to know each other, and we (the staff) also have the chance to interact with our students and learn what makes them tick.
“This is a great start to their university life, creating relationships and networks to better support them on their university journey.”