WIL Lighthouse Projects

The ACDS is delighted to announce its six WIL in Science Lighthouse Projects for 2016.

The Lighthouse projects are action-learning projects designed to establish visible organisation and leadership for work-integrated learning in science-based faculties and to generate peer-to-peer learning. The Lighthouse projects form part of the ACDS WIL in Science national project.

In addition to their impact within their host institutions, the Lighthouse projects will contribute resources and learnings to Faculties building WIL programs. The projects have been selected to illuminate the journey towards a comprehensive and sustainable approach to WIL from the initial steps of developing a Faculty-wide approach through exploration of the diversity of WIL to leading institutional change.

The Lighthouse projects will be presented at a number of events during 2016 including a series of workshops in capital cities and at the second national WIL in Science forum in December 2016. Updates on progress will be published through the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre as the projects unfold.


Project focus: Setting up Faculty WIL programs

1. The University of Tasmania, School of Land and Food

Project Lead: Dr Tina Botwright Acuña, tina.acuna@utas.edu.au, 0417 391 152

Project: Unifying WIL in Science at the University of Tasmania

Project description and scope:

This project will create a generic WIL program for Science courses leveraging experience from allied disciplines (engineering, ICT, agriculture) and an industry engagement Advisory Board at Faculty level. The project aims to illustrate the initial steps required to embed WIL in a Science curriculum and to develop a generic program for on and off-campus WIL in Science and related disciplines

2. Western Sydney University, School of Science and Health (Parramatta Campus)

Project Lead: Dr Jo-Anne Chuck, J.Chuck@westernsydney.edu.au, 02 9685 9906

Project: Providing WIL across complex interconnected science degrees

Project description and scope:

This project will map and develop opportunities to embed WIL in the curriculum of an entire suite of Science courses. To achieve this, the project will seek to identify and compile current activities in the science degrees that constitute WIL, determine which new/existing activities can be explicitly incorporated into the BSc programmes with a particular emphasis on the appropriateness of the activity with respect to curricula, student development and WIL learning outcomes and provide an opportunity for students to complete placements/volunteer opportunities and gain academic credit for the activity via reflection of WIL outcomes.


Project focus: Developing alternative approaches to WIL

3. Monash University, School of Biological Sciences

Project Lead: Dr Rowan Brookes, rowan.brookes@monash.edu, 0416 970 347

Project: Development of professional skills in science students through a work integrated learning honours stream

Project description and scope:

This project will support the delivery of the Bachelor of Science Advanced – Global Challenges (Honours) program which includes an option for a WIL-focussed honours year. A WIL-focused honours year provides the ideal opportunity for sustained skill development of science graduates. The Bachelor of Science Advanced – Global Challenges (Honours) (BSc Adv. GC (Hons)) will commence its inaugural WIL-focused honours stream in 2017. The students will collaborate in teams to deliver a project that addresses an authentic workplace challenge provided by the partner organisations; the outcomes of which will form the student’s honours projects. Through a broader project we will also be trialing the curriculum design of the BSc Adv. GC (Hons) for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) and the Bachelor of Science Advanced – Research (Honours) (BSc Adv. R. (Hons)). The project will also produce three online learning modules, specifically targeted to areas that employers have identified as needing strengthening in science graduates.

4. The University of Queensland, Faculty of Science and Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation

Project Lead: Professor Peter Adams, p.adams@uq.edu.au, 07 3365 3276

Project Co-Lead: A/Professor Susan Rowland, s.rowland1@uq.edu.au, 07 336 53089

Project: Exploring alternate models for WIL in Science: Linking Work with Learning

Project description and scope:

This project aims to broaden opportunities for engaging with WIL by investigating a model of WIL that academically expands on extant student work experience, that is, the current paid work in which students engage outside of their study. The project aims to develop and test a prototype curriculum with volunteer students, prior to 2017 implementation of a formal elective course (unit of study) in multiple FoS degrees. The project also provides an opportunity to identify and build relationships with community and industry work placement sites in order to expand formal WIL placements in the future.


Project focus: Extending WIL and building capacity for the future

5. University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Science

Project Lead: A/Professor Peter C Meier, Peter.Meier@uts.edu.au, 02 9514 7858

Project: Scaling-up Professional Experience Programs: developing a framework to support broad-based WIL

Project description and scope:

This project will explore tailored options for the expansion of WIL placements to suit a diverse range of host organizations.   The primary focus will be on scale-up of the Professional Experience Programme in Biomedical Science and the expansion of this and similar programs to all other areas of study in the Faculty. In support of this goal, the project will seek to understand the requirements of host organisations for successful placements specific to each degree area and the motivations and barriers to placement for host organisations and students; develop new course structures and subjects for credit recognition; construct effective assessment and evaluation processes that comply with AQF guidelines; create resources that inform host organisations, staff and students on the value of work placements and how to effectively integrate learning activities and skills in core subjects to assist students on placement. Models for scale-up of WIL placements will be explored and implemented including expansion of student self-directed and staff-assisted placements; the viability of alternatives such as virtual or research placements; and the implementation of an initiative to build and mentor a team of staff within each discipline area to champion work-integrated learning in their areas.

6. Deakin University, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Project Lead: Professor Malcolm Campbell, malcolm.campbell@deakin.edu.au, 0409 188 577

Project: Learning to Work, Working to Learn: Curriculum design and teaching practice for WIL in the Natural and Physical Sciences

Project description and scope:

This project will build capability and empower course leaders and teaching teams to deliver WIL through the development of scaffolded curriculum initiatives. A key goal of the project is to identify and work with employer and industry groups to provide exemplars and opportunities for students. Further, the project will seek to support course directors to understand and implement within curriculum, a range of WIL opportunities that students value and use to find employment, either within their discipline or outside their chosen discipline. Finally, the project will also look to work with a mentoring group to identify colleagues other institutions to provide examples of how WIL is interpreted and delivered in that institution to begin developing a network where project outcomes can be discussed.