Ideathon 2018: RIT Croatia hosts experiential learning opportunity for its students!

By: Angela Madjer, a Chicago Gal & a RIT Croatia graduate

Monday, October 29, 2018


RIT Croatia believes that providing its students with experiential learning opportunities will prepare them better for their future. You’ve probably heard of a Hackaton, an event that lasts typically for 24 straight hours in which participants (usually with programming background) trying to come up with a solution to the challenge of the event.


We decided to take it up a notch and organized an Ideathon! The main idea behind this event was to provide opportunities for both Information Technology / Web and Mobile Computing students as well as International Business students. The Ideathon took place on Friday, October 26 and lasted for a total of 24 hours. The topic behind this event was "The Future of Education”, providing these students with a broad and vast topic that encouraged them to be as creative as possible. The focus of this event explained by Manuela Mrkajić, an RIT Croatia Career Services, Alumni Relations & International Office Specialist, is for students to learn how to think like entrepreneurs.


The impact of experiential learning

The RIT Croatia students that competed in the 2018 Ideathon believed that having an opportunity like this truly is a building block to preparing themselves for what awaits them after graduating. Matko Piškor, junior Information Technology / Web and Mobile Computing student, stated that he feels that events like the Ideathon gives students the opportunity to see where their current skills place them, an opportunity to see where they need room for improvement and what challenged them the most when reflecting back on the experience. Other students like Amar Muratović, a sophomore Information Technology / Web and Mobile Computing student, mentioned that his efficiency and teamwork skills were also exercised when working on tasks. 


Throughout the event, mentors were available to students and assisted them in any way that may be of help to them. Our faculty Andrej Šarić and Aleksander Radovan, Scott Coleman (TDA), Diana Mudrinić (HUB 385) and Nina Mimica (Hrvatski Telekom) were among the mentors that worked the room at this year’s Ideathon.


Nina Mimica (Hrvatski Telekom), an RIT alumna and a mentor at this year’s Ideathon, is a strong believer that events like these pave the path for a brighter future. With participating in hack-a-thons and other experiential learning opportunities herself, the greatest lessons learned were the entrepreneurial skills and hands-on experience that prepare you for the future.


And the winner of the 2018 Ideathon is…


Congratulations to all the participants of this event! The four groups of students that spent 24 hours brainstorming and working hard towards their idea for the topic, the future of education, truly did give their greatest effort. First, second and third place winners received an opportunity to attend workshops hosted at HUB385. Yet, the first place winners received a 2,000kn cash prize, sponsored by Extension Engine. And the winners are…


1st place: EdVenture by Josip Cukrov and Kristina Kermend (International Business freshmen students) came up with a mobile application that offers unique educational experience during field trips with school. It provides interactive games in which a teacher provides students with certain tasks and quests that encourages students to explore locations and learn about them throughout the competitive game-like environment. The winners, Josip Cukrov and Kristina Kermend were chosen because they incorporated all the segments that were necessary for the project. By using existing technology, putting time towards research, then applying all they’ve learned towards a new idea they were prepared to present resulted in them received first place at this years Ideathon. Their project was feasible and scalable, it can be monetized and they truly did present a unique idea.



2nd place: GEC’s vision of future education which includes elements of gamification that are meant to increase student’s motivation to do work that exceeds academic expectations by introducing a database system that would recognize, record and reward student’s efforts in three main categories: academia, social engagement, and work experience. The database would be open for a validation process by institutions such as NGOs or colleges and accessible for potential employers to find appropriate and competent new employees. This idea was presented by Amar Muratović (Information Technology / Web and Mobile Computing sophomore), Elena Škrtić and Martina Perić (both International Business freshmen)


3rd place: A software that will enable students through a game/simulation to learn different case studies. The software will give different tasks to students playing the game and all the tasks/questions are related to a real case study or company problem that students will need to solve. This idea was presented by Donald Lena and Raed Pere (both International Business freshmen).


4th place: A software that can be customized for each client and each type of institution. It can be used in formal education but also in the programs for professional development (HR companies). The idea is to determine the level of student’s performance (in some particular class) by putting a student in the particular category (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and according to the level to determine how to approach to the student. For example, if the student is in advanced math, it means that he/she has a potential and maybe it would be good to simulate student with additional tasks and assignments. If the student is on the beginner level, it may mean that he or she would need more time to solve some problems and that assignments can be adjusted accordingly. This idea was presented by four junior Information Technology / Web and Mobile Computing students – Matko Piškor, Mislav Arnautalić, Boris Fjorović, and Toni Dusper.


Great work everyone – you are all winners! We thank all of our students for participating and sharing their superb ideas and solutions as well as the mentors who were there to guide them all the way! A special thanks also goes to Extension Engine for recognizing and sponsoring this experiential learning opportunity!

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