Reflective practice in a capstone business internship subject
Lang, R., & McNaught, K. (2013). Reflective practice in a capstone business internship subject. Journal of International Education in Business, 6 (1), 7-21.
Purpose – Capstone subjects which link students approaching graduation with significant experiential learning and relevant industry placements, have the potential to be very valuable to students. This is particularly evident if they are able to critically reflect on the experience. In light of this, the School of Business at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle campus, sought to embed reflective practice and reflective writing within its Business Internship (capstone) subject. This paper aims to discuss this.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a case study approach.
Findings – Significant challenges emerged in relation to the student learning experience. Some students did not perceive the value of an internship, or of engaging in a professionally reflective process. Business students' differing academic literacy standards became apparent, as did the diverse experiences of international students. It became evident that students required explicit teaching and more thorough training to understand the value of reflection and to write reflectively where required. Subsequently, reflective writing workshops were trialled and embedded in the subject. Reflective practice enabled students to move to a deeper level of understanding, rather than submitting a superficial retelling of their internship experience.
Originality/value – The value of reflective writing is widely recognised in many disciplines, although its application in Business capstone subjects is relatively new. This merits further scholarship, particularly as capstone subjects are increasingly being used to demonstrate assurance of learning for accrediting agencies in Australia.
Australia, business internship, capstone, experiential learning, reflective writing, student learning experience
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