University Network of Work Integrated Learning Educators (WILEd)

Who are WILEd?

The University Network of Work Integrated Learning Educators (WILEd).

What does WILEd do?

WILEd is for academic and professional staff involved in: professional placements, practicums, fieldwork, industrial training, cooperative education, field education, service learning, international or local internships, volunteering, mentoring and other work integrated learning opportunities for students.

When do WILEd meet?

WILEd network meetings generally take place 4 times per year to share best practice and participate in focussed discussions on topics such as Preparation of students, Teaching / Supervision, Career Development Learning, Assessment Evaluation, Systems, Legal and Risk.

Current research

Assessing student outcomes for fieldwork placements:
A scan of current practice - Abstract

Fieldwork is an element of the umbrella term work integrated learning (WIL). Higher education institutions are increasingly under pressure to produce work-ready graduates to ensure a sustainable workforce for the future economic growth and improvement of the Australian workforce.

It is well recognised that a learning experience in the workplace is of great benefit to students in ultimately nurturing the skills that ensure an able employee with an emphasis on the specific discipline context. In a course with a relevant and authentic work experience component with measurable outcomes, there are also several benefits for the industry partner. Presently, the provision of a work placement in a university degree occurs in most professional degrees where there is an existing, well-established relationship with industry and mandated professional requirements within the discipline.

While there is a growing abundance of literature on work integrated learning and specifically fieldwork, there is little on how this is assessed, the quality of the assessment process and, ultimately, the outcomes for students and industry partners. The workload and stresses such an assessment process places on staff charged with the task of assessing a work based student experience is unclear. This research will explore the assessment practices of university subjects with a fieldwork component. The study will investigate processes across 10 disciplines within two Australian institutions

Disciplines include: Law, exercise physiology, optometry, medicine, business, architecture, primary education, nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

For further information on this research email Sonia Ferns (Curtin University, WA) S.Ferns@curtin.edu.au

Resources

External resources

Recommended books

Cooper L., J. Orrell and M. Bowden (2010) Work Integrated Learning: A guide to effective practice, Routledge, New York, ISBN 10:0-415-55677-5 (pbk).

Professional associations that focus on work integrated learning

Contact

For further information on the WILEd network email Taye Morris: t.morris@unsw.edu.au