WIL can take many forms, including work placements, simulations, industry-based projects and case studies 1.4Edwards, D., Perkins, K., Pearce, J., & Hong, J. (2015). Work Integrated Learning in STEM in Australian Universities. Canberra: Office of Chief Scientist & Australian Council for Educational Research. The WIL typology on the right, broadly categorises WIL activities as those that take place on- and off-campus 1.8adapted from Rowe, A. D., Winchester-Seeto, T., & Mackaway, J. A. (2012). That's not really WIL!: Building a typology of WIL. Paper presented at the Collaborative Education: Investing in the future – Proceedings of the 2012 ACEN National Conference, Deakin University, Geelong. .
Factors that you should consider in your choice of learning activity include:
- The learning outcomes intended
For suggestions on WIL activities to achieve particular learning objectives, see Edwards et al (2015)1.4Edwards, D., Perkins, K., Pearce, J., & Hong, J. (2015). Work Integrated Learning in STEM in Australian Universities. Canberra: Office of Chief Scientist & Australian Council for Educational Research, pp. 46 – 47.The size of the cohort
- For strategies to provide WIL for large student cohorts, see Dickson and Kaider (2012)3.8Dickson, K., & Kaider, F. (2012). Designing, developing and delivering work integrated learning to large student cohorts. Paper presented at the ACEN 2012 : Collaborative education : investing in the future, Geelong, Victoria.,The stage of the courseHow much time you have availableYour relationships with industry partners.
Thinking outside the box
The Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland has developed a unit that enables students to link learning and capabilities gained through work, to those needed for a career in science. Approximately half of Australian students work part-time6.11Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017) Education and Work, Australia.
, and the unit design recognises that this work can contribute to skill development and employability regardless of whether it is directly related to students’ discipline of study. In the unit, students are engaged in critical analysis and discussion of scholarly literature on work-related learning and behaviour, and reflect on their own employability as science graduates.
Want more information? Check out the SCIWILWORK case study.