Formalising Industry Feeedback in Assessment Practice for Work Integrated Learning

By Kathy Henschke and Joan Richardson.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs, such as co-operative education programs, offer students a learning environment which exists outside the traditional classroom and specific discipline boundaries. This necessitates assessment practices that go beyond traditional practices and relationships. Work placement supervisors are best located to observe the students’ learning and development and offer feedback on performance and improvement. An investigation was carried out in order to articulate the role of supervisors and work colleagues in facilitating learning in the workplace environment and their involvement in assessment practices. Interviews were conducted with academics and industry representatives on their perceptions of assessment task validity in terms of professional and generic skill development. A synthesis of the findings formed the basis of the research described in this paper. Key findings highlighted the need for better preparation of industry supervisors as to their role in providing feedback and assessment; better preparation of students for transition from the classroom to the workplace; and the importance of ongoing involvement of the three stakeholders (academic, supervisor and student) to maximise learning and professional development. Recommendations for assessment practices include suggestions on how to involve employers in appraising workplace performance; how to measure the real life application of learning; and the development of generic employability skills.

Keywords: Work Integrated Learning, Role of Industry Supervisor, Assessment in the Workplace, Professional Development, Vocational Education, Co-operative Education

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp.73-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 626.637KB).

Kathy Henschke

Program Diector Work Integrated Learning, School of Business Information Technology & Logistics, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Kathy Henschke is the Program Director of Work Integrated Learning for the Bachelor of Business (Business Information Systems) that delivers a year-long Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) at RMIT University. Kathy spent 15 years working in the industry and the education sectors before coming to RMIT. Her teaching pedagogy reflects her strong belief in the value of active learning environments. Kathy is currently completing a Doctor in Education that investigates the contribution of co-op to generic skills development, professional formation and individual selfhood.

Associate Professor Joan Richardson

Program Director Academic Development, School of Business Information Technology, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

For the last decade Joan has worked on University projects aimed at maintaining a leading position in the application of ICT in business and delivering state of the art courses and programs. In 2000 Joan was awarded an RMIT Teaching Quality award for continuous improvement in subject resources for use in student-centred teaching environments and in the process has designed and produced a number of multi-media applications and a text in the end-user computing discipline domain. Joan has taught in the information communication technology field specialising in end-user computing, business systems and business alignment.

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