Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is a term used to describe an activity or program that integrates academic learning with its application in the workplace. The practice may be real, simulated or a combination of both, and can occur in the workplace, on campus at university, online or face-to-face.
Why do some of our most exciting learning and teaching initiatives fail to gain traction, despite the thorough research, creative design and best efforts of talented people? It could be because we often forget to include the students in the planning process. This blog post by Sherman Young proposes that we acknowledge our students as partners and co-creators of their own learning in order to increase engagement.
To get the ball rolling we recruited four Merit Scholars, each from a very different discipline and background, and sent them on a social investigation to gather thoughts about student engagement at Macquarie. They came back with an enormous bank of ideas, examples, and challenges from students relating to their experience at Macquarie, and the following themes resonated throughout:
Availability. The very best learning experiences these students have had stem from a single teacher being available to their students, maintaining an approachable nature and adopting an accessible style of communication and discourse. The prevailing sentiment was that the availability of these teachers seemed driven by a genuine passion for learning and teaching.
Communication. The students unanimously agreed that the driest of subjects can be brought alive by a good lecturer, and it doesn’t have to involve cutting edge learning technologies or soaring levels of creativity. In fact, the students said that they would trade in all the extra stuff for a teacher with great presentation skills and a penchant for the material.
Connection to the outside world. This presented itself in a few different forms – students value industry connections, tangible job opportunities, and PACE units – but most simply, they value the sense that we’re learning with purpose here at Macquarie.
We will be exploring each of these themes, and others, at a panel discussion during L&T Week and will welcome questions and debate. We invite you to come along and gain some honest, candid insight into the student experience at Macquarie. Registrations are essential – more details are available using the link below.
By Lara Hardy, Online Student Support Officer, Off-campus Programs, Centre for Open Education
When a baby born today graduates from university in approximately 23 years’ time, the jobs they apply for may not even exist today.
With positions such as bank tellers, travel agents, cashiers, posties, and print journalists likely facing extinction by 2034, Associate Professor Elisabetta Magnani, of the Australian Business School at the University of New South Wales, says that with future changes in technology, the human traits of “compassion and intelligence” will be required to distinguish a person in their field in order to make sure they are perceived as “necessary” in the workforce.
Macquarie’s annual celebration of pedagogy and scholarship, Learning and Teaching Week was held from 16-20 September 2013. As presenters are encouraged each year to publish their work as a way of sharing practice and furthering research in this area, an eBook option was offered as a new publishing platform to those who presented papers, symposia, roundtables and workshops. Continue reading Innovation and PACE shine in Learning and Teaching Week 2013 eBook
Michelle Parrish for Wesley Mission had this to say about the success of the PACE:
Time spent talking to you and your team at MQ is always time well spent. I now have two wonderful highly intelligent graduates from MQ working as case managers in my team, so I couldn’t be happier 🙂
On Monday this week, I offered Chris Foo ( recent graduate MU) a casual P.T case manger position in my team. Chris was one of the 7 students that I had on placement with me last year too. So that’s three of your wonderful graduates in my team now 🙂
Do you want to publish a paper about Professional and Community Engagement (PACE)? Do you know which conferences focus on work-integrated learning, cooperative learning, practice-based learning, service learning or other types of experiential learning?
Dr Calvin Smith from Griffith University will present and discuss the results of a landmark project that assessed the impact of work-integrated learning on student work-readiness:
Monday 17 February
9.30-11.30am in E6A116
Details and registration
Work ready students are those who possess the basic skills and competencies needed to work within specific occupations. Specifically, work-ready students have “a combination of content knowledge and employability skills, such as communication, team work and problem solving, which enables effective professional practice”.
As we head towards the end of another jam-packed year at Macquarie, PACE is on the look out for a new cohort of amazing experiences to recognise with the annual Professor Judyth Sachs PACE Prizes.
UPDATE: Deadline extended to Sunday 1 March 2015