We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Virtual avatar prepares students for the future workforce

Photo Credit: Curtin University

A virtual avatar posing as an elderly client will travel to Curtin Singapore in September 2019 to help third-year accounting students prepare for the future workforce.

According to a recent press release, the virtual avatar will act as a virtual client for students from both campuses of Curtin in Perth, Australia and in Singapore.

Doing this will help the students improve their interpersonal communication skills as well as build trust and rapport with potential clients.

Getting to know Jim

‘Jim’, the virtual avatar, was developed by Associate Professor Janet Beilby, from the University’s School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology in 2014.

According to her, the use of virtual avatars was innovative in teaching practices and could be used to train students in a range of different scenarios before they enter the workforce.

Jim was initially developed to help healthcare workers improve their patient empathy skills, particularly when dealing with patients who are living with dementia.

To achieve this, Jim took on the role of a frustrated elderly farmer living with dementia. The students were then required to help him through a series of difficult situations and conversations.

How can Jim help?

The success that Jim had proven with healthcare students prompted the developers to see if he could be used to help business and accounting students in the Perth campus as well as at Curtin’s international campuses to improve their communication skills.

Part of the requirements for the students is to help put Jim at ease while he is waiting for his appointment with a senior accountant.

This will teach students how to respond to an elderly client, creating a valuable learning experience that will help them develop for their future career.

It is critical to create new learning experiences for students because employers are looking for graduates who are, as they say, able to “hit the ground running” when entering the workforce.

An Associate Professor from the University’s School of Accounting explained that it is significant to identify new teaching methods that can help students thrive once they graduate, given the ever changing education landscape.

Using a virtual avatar provides a safe and cost-effective way for students to practice their communication skills before they work with real-life clients.

Jim could potentially be used across multiple disciplines to provide students with an opportunity to develop critical communication skills before entering the workforce.

The project was made possible by a Curtin Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant.

Jim helped students at Curtin’s Perth campus from 29 July – 02 August 2019 and will be travelling to Curtin Singapore on 13 September 2019.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

Send this to a friend