Evaluating WIL

Evaluating your WIL activity or unit will help you assess whether it meets stakeholders’ needs and improve the learning experience for students 10.1. It is important to establish the purpose of the evaluation, who will be receiving the findings and what they will be used for 10.2. This will determine when you conduct the evaluation and the kind of information you collect. Students, for example, are likely to benefit most from formative evaluation during the experience to inform development and make any necessary changes. On the other hand, summative evaluation, conducted at the end of the experience, can inform decisions on continuing, revising or extending the program 10.3.

Image credit: Stirling, Kerr, Banwell, MacPherson, & Heron, 2016

In many ways, evaluating WIL is no different from evaluating other teaching practices. However, any evaluation should also consider the experience of your industry partner/s. Were their objectives met? Were there any other impacts (positive or negative) on their organisation? What aspects of the program did they think worked well, and what suggestions do they have for improvement?
Sources of information to consider in your evaluation include:

  • Student assessment results and artefacts (demonstrating achievement of intended learning outcomes);
  • Formal student feedback e.g. your institution’s unit evaluations or your own questionnaires;
  • Informal student feedback, such as emails, discussion forum posts or verbal feedback;
  • Student participation and completion rates, if the program was optional;
  • Formal and informal feedback from your industry partner/s;
  • Your own reflection, and impacts on your teaching;
  • Formal or informal feedback from colleagues , 10.1 10.2, 10.4.

Useful resources
Harvey, J. (Ed.) (1998). Evaluation Cookbook. Edinburgh, UK: Learning Technology Dissemination Initiative.
Stirling, A., Kerr, G., Banwell, J., MacPherson, E., & Heron, A. (2016). A Practical Guide for Work-integrated: Learning Effective Practices to Enhance the Educational Quality of Structured Work Experiences Offered through Colleges and Universities. Ontario: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

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