Adapting to your local context

Growing WIL is challenging. What your faculty (or school) does in any of these areas will be influenced by the stage of development that your faculty has reached, so the first step involve in leading any WIL program is to examine your context and plan your approach. It is worth taking the time to understand what already exists, is needed, and is achievable.

In a project funded by the Office of the Chief Scientist we observed that science faculties were at very different stages of implementation of WIL programs and classified them into the following three stages:

Initiating and planning
Faculties starting out to build WIL systemically into their courses typically:

  • define work-integrated learning in their own context
  • map existing WIL activity to identify opportunities, find local practitioners and build awareness
  • negotiate targets for the WIL activity including decisions status in course structures

Unifying WIL in Science
Providing WIL across complex interconnected science degrees

Building and trialing
Faculties that are creating new ways of working with WIL typically:

  • foster WIL champions and build capability in teaching WIL
  • test different models of WIL
  • create strong links with University career services and industry engagement

Exploring alternate models for WIL in Science: Linking Work with Learning
Development of professional skills in science students through a work-integrated learning Honours stream

Expanding and refining
Faculties that deliver widespread WIL to most (or all) students typically:

  • Revise course structures to support WIL across diverse courses
  • Invest in Faculty WIL support teams and industry engagement
  • Create named leaders for WIL as part of the Faculty leadership team

Scaling-up Professional Experience Programs: developing a framework to support broad-based WIL
Learning to Work, Working to Learn: Curriculum design and teaching practice for WIL in the Natural and Physical Sciences