WIL roles and responsibilities

Wil Stakeholders

Every student studying science at an Australian university should have opportunities to participate in meaningful WIL experiences.

Work-integrated learning is complex with successful experiences achieved through the interplay of many factors. It requires active participation from students, teachers and industry partners and can contribute to deep, sustained relationships.

Clear understanding of roles and responsibilities is essential for successful WIL. Shared governance is a model for collaboration that defines the contribution of each stakeholder.

Setting up effective collaborations with industry partners takes time and needs investment.

  • Industry partners need to be able to judge an appropriate level of commitment and to understand how their contribution will create the best experience for themselves, for students, and for teachers.
  • University teachers and systems must be able to create and support WIL experiences that enhance graduate learning outcomes and be able to match the right student to the right opportunity.
  • Students need to understand their contribution to making their own WIL experience a success and that their experience can help to improve WIL for the future.

Stakeholder Contributions Framework

The framework sets the out the roles of each stakeholder across seven areas. It is intended as a starter for individual conversations with industry partners and a support for developing student and staff communications and processes.

The framework should be adapted to local policies and processes and industry requirements.

LeadershipMake WIL an explicit priority with funding and recognitionProvide explicit support and engagement Establish a learning culture that readily assimilates students, encourages exploration of knowledge and contribution of student ideasMentor peers Involve student groups and collectives
Design and co-developmentLink theory to practice Embed WIL opportunities Scaffold WIL in course design including career development education, active learning, goal-setting and reflection Support task/project development to ensure alignment with student capabilities and learning outcomesContribute content
Help structure learning as part of career
Support and encourage graduates to mentor students
Demonstrate and articulate value to industry
Co-construct tasks/projects to ensure alignment with student capabilities
Provide personal context and goals
Engagement and relationshipsAllow diverse relationships and spaces
Develop relationships with depth and with breadth
Be flexible in accommodating industry needs
Document roles
Establish clear processes and systems through which industry can contact and connect with the university
Be clear about what is possible in each case
Be open to multi-form relationships and activities
Collaborate with peer organisations to achieve scale, allow diversity and limit exclusivity within constraints of organisation
Co-develop industry role
Add in personal contacts and new opportunities
Be aware of related relationships
Link university and industry partner
Co-develop student role
Logistics and supportResource relationship management
Resource placement management, including legal, insurance and safety aspects
Resource student management
Be clear about own constraints and contribute information
Communicate appropriate timing/s for placement to ensure meaningful work is available
Be clear about own needs and contribute information
Be aware of limitations
InductionDevelop and provide documentation and communication
Develop standards for induction and orientation
Provide training for WIL supervisors and students
Contribute to collaborative training for WIL supervisors
Co-construct induction and local standards
Document industry requirements and processes (staff and students)
Co-construct induction
Set personal goals
DeliveryDevelop and provide documentation and communication
Provide academic supervision
Provide ongoing support and monitoring
Manage assessment and feedback
Provide WIL supervisionWork with supervisors to interpret student role in each case
Assessment and feedback to studentsDesign assessment and ensure compliance with university standards and policy
Provide feedback to students
Ensure alignment in learning design
Develop user-friendly feedback systems
Contribute to the development of assessment tasks that are authentic to the industry and reflect skills that students will develop/use
Co-assess student performance
Provide formative, continuous and meaningful feedback
Engage in reflection and portfolio constructions
Align artefacts with career progression/aspirations
EvaluationCoordinate quality assurance and benchmarking
Review against regulation and industry standards
Review against user experience
Coordinate a process of continuous review and improvement
Provide constructive feedback
Review against industry standards
Engage in process of continuous review and improvement
Provide constructive feedback
Review against student expectations and experiences
Engage in process of continuous review and improvement

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Additional resources

Henderson and Trede (2017) Strengthening attainment of student learning outcomes during work-integrated learning: A collaborative governance framework across academia, industry and students, Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 18(1), 73-86

Atkinson G (2016) Work-based learning and work-integrated learning: fostering engagement with employers, National Centre for Vocational Education Research

Atkinson G, Misko J and Stanwick JN (2015) Work integrated learning in STEM disciplines: employer perspectives, National Centre for Vocational Education Research