Norah McRae, T. Judene Pretti, Dana Church


In many parts of the world, including Canada, there are calls for an increase in the number of work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities for post-secondary students. As attention is paid to increasing the quantity of WIL programs, it is critically important to ensure that attention is also paid to the quality of WIL experiences for key stakeholders. This paper provides an overview of the quality landscape in higher education and work-integrated learning and presents a work-integrated learning quality framework: AAA★. The AAA★ framework, and the remainder of the paper, is comprised of five sections: (1) concepts and terminology used in the framework; (2) the aims of each of the WIL stakeholder groups; (3) the actions required by each stakeholder to ensure success; (4) the achievements of each of the stakeholder groups; and (5) a continuous improvement process for WIL programs. This work will enable those responsible for WIL programs to identify potential gaps in providing quality WIL as well as providing a list of potential outcomes and measures that can be used to evaluate WIL programs.


We would love to hear from you with your thoughts on this paper. For example, from the viewpoint of your particular type of WIL or your stakeholder viewpoint, does the framework capture the key components of quality work-integrated learning? Are there specific research studies that aren't referenced but should be?

Please share your comments and thoughts with us at


WIL Quality Framework: A white paper (PDF)


Keynote presentation by Dr. Norah McRae at University of Calgary's conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching: recorded livestream (keynote starts at 40 min).