This mixed methods audit explores the impact of a student learning activity involving service learning. As part of a vocational course in the Academy of Health Sciences at the West Coast Institute, Allied Health Assistant (AHA) students participated in a service learning program focused on work-based learning in residential aged care. Students delivered a therapy program for residents at the facility. Students completed validated evaluation questionnaires on conclusion of study. Of 121 students completing the audit, 91% thought the experience challenged their way of thinking. Only 2% disagreed with this concept. A majority of students (93%) reported the experience interesting and engaging and a similar percentage (93%) reported that they felt better prepared to enter the workforce. The major themes in qualitative analysis related to the positive learning experience, increased confidence for future working career, improved knowledge and practice of aged care, and improved resident and student quality of life.


service learning, training, students, aged care, dementia, partnerships

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