Work Integrated Learning is the term that is given for the integration of academic activities in particular disciplines. Work Integrated Learning aims to ensure the students that they develop more abilities and skills with their learning. The major emphasis is laid on undergraduate and post-graduate students. It is the sort of formal degree that is awarded to the student after he/ she goes through all the assessments and credits. The activities are designed that it applies knowledge and leaning into decision-making. Moreover, the students are engaged in teaching and reflections to take the actions relevant to their appraisal.
It is the reason that employers are seeking the type of students that can be highly productive for their organization. The universities collaborate with such organizations to get their students placed in big industries, businesses, government setups, and community organizations. It provides a great opportunity for students to build their competence under genuine supervision. The students are involved in individual or relay team projects that are completed under the supervision of academic staff. Also, the integration is made with previous theories to have client liaison to work in interdisciplinary teams.
Every professional in the healthcare setting has his/ her different identity. It is difficult for others to identify individuals without professional identity in healthcare. But, it is known that the professionals can not purposefully change their identity and opt values and moral principles tactically and in-consciously. The work integrated scholars are prepared in their education system to get them prepared for future roles. The preparation includes the knowledge and learning of different disciplines and technical skills. The students are also told the means of communication and use of tactics through socializing and observations in the workplace. The students are helped to develop a sense of professional identity and engagement in professionalism that will help them in engaging more in professionalism.
It then relates and forms the relation of Work Integrated Learning. Work Integrated Learning is a place where scholars could develop professional skills and identity. Many principles are used to enhance and develop professionalism and professional identity (Trede, 2012). According to Elijido-Ten & Kloot in 2015 they presented that Worl-Integrated Learning is the measure to improve the readiness of graduates. It helps the professionals to explore more opportunities in higher education as well as for the job.
They gave the example of the Australian population and said that the graduates over there were poor in accounting and hence it leads to a shortage of personnel relevant to the field. Various studies stated in the article stated that there was a mismatch between the expectations of industry and education with graduates. The inclusion of work-integrated learning in the curriculum intended the students to provide with the environment and develop relevant skills and knowledge at a pre-graduation level before entry into the mainstream. In the article, it was also suggested that it includes a range of strategies ad approaches that combine theory into practice of work.
Rook in the year 2017 sated that work-integrated learning programs have been taken for almost all subjects like medicine, sport, education, law, nurse, and midwifery. It is because the demand for this has been increased from the government side in all the disciplines. To present his article Rowe and Winchester reviewed 255 articles and developed a diagram for the engagement of activities. He also supported the views of Elijido-Ten & Kloot in the definition of Work-Integrated Learning. He identified that many challenges are there that have the association with implementation, development, and design of programs.
Russell & Coventry in 2016 stated that innovations in postgraduate WIL in the nursing field engage the professionals in providing support to specialized care. In both public and private sectors, work-integrated learning has scope to develop strategies in the complex and changing environment. The nursing field is such that it puts theory into practice with high validity. In the article, they researched with qualitative and quantitative data separately and concluded that a large number of people were satisfied with Integrated Learning and has a larger impact on the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities of the individual.
Tran & Soejatminah in 2016 stated that Work-integrated Learning assists the students in building knowledge, attributes, and skills to enhance their chances of getting employed. In this article, an international perspective is explained and the attachment is done with the vocational education and training sector. The author said that WIL is the advancing feature that upbrings the opportunities for employment.
Jackson in 2017 stated that pre-professional identity is the means of creating awareness and connection with values, skills, qualities, standards, and behavior to perform their best in the chosen profession. It was considered in the article that employment at the graduate level influences the success of the individual, productivity, and well-being. They did qualitative data analysis in the form of structured reflections. Students who were taken as a sample in this study and intended that the strategies have the best results in learning for placement and assessment. The graduate students were involved in this study to focus on non-technical skill development through observation, interaction, and learning.
In another article presented by McDonald et al., 2018 presented that Work-Integrated Learning has an association with workplace study and academic study. The programs are constructed for the development of cognitive as well as non-cognitive competencies. They did this study to know the results after exploring the mechanism over medical students. The interview process included semi-formal interviews to analyze the information after transcription. They found that WIL has an impact on five themes such as research experience, career choice, time management skills, clinical experience, and mentorship opportunities. The results also concluded that it helped them in acquiring skills and experiences for transitions in learning.
Hence, Work-Integrated Learning has a great framework for providing employability to graduates by introducing learnings and professionalism in their academics. Models like RRRP should be developed to understand and create awareness on expectations, beliefs, knowledge, and ethics associated with the profession. The studies concluded that during the placements self-directive learning has its importance as the students sort out their best ways in which they could recall things better. Other models like PPI should also be explored to know the better impact of Work-Integrated learning. All the fields like accounting, finance, healthcare, law, and architecture should involve the students in learning and gaining new experiences. Hence, all the dimensions are acknowledged in the literature focusing on different aspects.
Elijido-Ten, E., & Kloot, L. (2015). Experiential learning in accounting work-integrated learning: a three-way partnership. Education+ Training.
Jackson, D. (2017). Developing pre-professional identity in undergraduates through work-integrated learning. Higher Education, 74(5), 833-853.
McDonald, R., Bobrowski, A., Drost, L., Rowbottom, L., Pretti, J., Soliman, H. & Chow, E. (2019). Student Perspectives on the Impact of an Undergraduate Work-Integrated Learning Program on Admission and Transition to Medical School. Journal of Cancer Education, 34(4), 768-774.
Rook, L. (2017). Challenges Implementing Work-Integrated Learning in Human Resource Management University Courses. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 18(3), 199-212.
Russell, K., & Coventry, T. (2016). Innovations in postgraduate work-integrated learning within the perioperative nursing environment: A Western Australian experience. ACORN: The Journal of Perioperative Nursing in Australia, 29(4), 15.
Tran, L. T., & Soejatminah, S. (2016). 'Get the foot in the door': international students' perceptions of work-integrated learning. British Journal of Educational Studies, 64(3), 337-355.
Trede, F. (2012). Role of work-integrated learning in developing professionalism and professional identity. International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 13(3), 159.
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