Case Studies of Successful WIL

Intention & Planning: Setting up Faculty WIL programs

Unifying WIL in Science *

Assoc. Prof. Tina Acuña, Lead, The University of Tasmania, School of Land and Food

This project created a generic WIL program for Science courses leveraging experience from allied disciplines (engineering, ICT, agriculture) and developed a faculty-level approach to industry engagement via an Advisory Board that fosters cross-disciplinary links. The project illustrates determination of current state in staff perceptions and curriculum mapping as initial steps required to embed WIL in a Science curriculum. The project describes factors to consider in development of a generic program for on and off-campus WIL in Science and related disciplines.

Providing WIL across complex interconnected science degrees *

Dr Jo-Anne Chuck, Lead, Western Sydney University, School of Science and Health (Parramatta Campus)

This project mapped WIL activities in order to develop opportunities to embed WIL in the curriculum of an entire suite of Science courses. The project identified, categorized, and compiled current activities in the science degrees that constitute WIL and used the analysis to identify where new/existing activities could be explicitly incorporated into the BSc programs. The project worked individually with teaching teams to plan development of WIL activities appropriate to the discipline, course, student development and intended WIL learning outcomes, and to create space for students to complete placements/volunteer opportunities with academic credit. The project also initiated design of a generic WIL placement subject that could be embedded into multiple courses.

Build & Trial: Developing alternative approaches to WIL

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

Assoc. Prof Susan Rowland, co-Lead and Prof. Peter Adams, co-Lead, The University of Queensland, Faculty of Science and Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation

This project developed an innovative model for WIL that academically expands on extant student work experience, that is, the current paid work in which students engage outside of their study, with the aim of broadening opportunities for engaging with WIL. The project tested a prototype curriculum with volunteer students, prior to 2017 implementation of a formal elective course (unit of study) in multiple Faculty of Science degrees. The project also provided an opportunity to identify and build relationships with community and industry work placement sites in order to expand formal WIL placements in the future.

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

Dr Rowan Brookes, Lead, Monash University, School of Biological Sciences

This project has developed materials and supported the curriculum design for a WIL honours year in a selective-entry undergraduate science program. The Faculty of Science is using this model to trial as a model for future implementation in the Bachelor of Science. The selective-entry degree, Bachelor of Science Advanced – Global Challenges (Honours), has commenced 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 students’ honours projects. This project has refined the curriculum design and resourcing for the WIL honours year and created three online skill development modules, specifically targeted to areas that employers and students have identified as important for science graduates.

Expand & Refine: Extending WIL and building capacity for the future

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

Prof. Peter C Meier, Lead, University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Science

This project developed an integrated Faculty strategy to extend WIL activities in science and related degrees through curriculum renewal, scaling and development of individual placement programs, and the creation of administrative processes to streamline and support internship activities. The aim of the project was to create a flexible and responsive Faculty environment that could accommodate internship or internship-like experience for all students as required by the University. The project included (1) restructure of degree programs to ensure there was capacity for students to take a session (semester) free block in programs to allow for a minimum 12-week internship placement, (2) construction of a suite of Faculty internship units of variable length to suit employer needs and (3) mapping and curriculum design to embed authentic assessment linked to WIL. These initiatives will be further developed in 2017.

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

Prof. Malcolm Campbell, Lead, Deakin University, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

This project created resources, exemplars and workshops for course directors in order to build leadership for WIL and achieve a coordinated and broader approach to employment opportunities for students. The project established a Faculty WIL Steering Group that worked with course directors to create shared definitions of WIL, how WIL should be scaffolded within courses and what constitutes appropriate assessment of WIL. These interactions have created a WIL community of practice and have identified and recognized WIL leaders within the Faculty.
* These case studies have been prepared by The Lighthouse Projects, sponsored by the ACDS WIL in Science project (2015 – 2016) and funded by the Office of the Chief Scientist.