The benefits and challenges of embedding work integrated learning: A case study in a university education degree program
Doolan, M., Piggott, B., Chapman, S., & Rycroft, P. (2019). The benefits and challenges of embedding work integrated learning: A case study in a university education degree program. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 44 (6), 91-108.
Embedded Work Integrated Learning (EWIL) is a specific model of Work Integrated Learning (WIL); students work with industry in small blocks of time at regular intervals throughout semester focussing on reflective learning in authentic work environments. This study highlights benefits and challenges experienced when incorporating EWIL into a university education degree. Data was collected through survey and interview; students and graduates were surveyed and industry partners were interviewed. Reflections from university staff involved in the degree were also included. Results demonstrate EWIL is an effective pedagogical strategy in terms of providing authentic, real world learning experiences and enhancing students’ employability skills. Specifically, students’ communication skills, organisational abilities and confidence are enriched. Challenges encountered included time constraints, increasing student cohort size and staffing changes. These challenges can be overcome with planning and relationship development. The findings of this study provide insight and guidance for institutions considering implementing EWIL models into comparable university programs.
work Integrated Learning, employability, curriculum Design, core skills for work, community engagement