Article #1: Successful work-integrated learning relationships: A framework for sustainability (2018)

Author 

Flemming, J., McLachlan, K., & Pretti, T. J

Journal 

International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 19(4), 321-335

Source 

Work-Integrated Learning Research Portal

Purpose

To develop a framework that provides the critical success factors for sustainable work-integrated learning (WIL) relationships.

Methodology

An action research approach, which included a literature review, consultation with WIL practitioners, critical reflection, and a feedback survey from key stakeholders.

Key findings

A framework was developed that prioritizes the key themes of communication, commitment, and compatibility. Nine factors within these themes were identified as important to sustain WIL relationships.

 

Practitioner's thoughts by

Anna Maria Russo (Program Manager, Master of Accounting and Finance, University of Toronto Scarborough)

What insights did you gain from reading this article that were useful to you?

The article highlights factors that influence the long-term viability of industry-university relationships in the WIL context. The way the article defined the notion of compatibility was interesting. The inclusion of a shared vision, as well as identifying comparable reputations as key components of compatibility, particularly piqued my interest. It made me re-examine my own underlying assumptions when initiating partnership development conversations with potential industry representatives.

Does this study raise questions for you that require further research/investigation?

The discussion of each critical success factor sparked motivation to delve into our internal data to investigate our own partner expectations in WIL experiences and to further explore trust constructs between community-university partnerships.


Article #2: Work-integrated learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics: Drivers of innovation for students (2018)

Author

Rampersad, G., & Zivotic-Kukolj, V

Journal

International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 19(2), 193-204

Source

Work-Integrated Learning Research Portal

Purpose

To examine key factors driving innovation in STEM work-integrated learning (WIL) students.

Methodology

Students were given a questionnaire before and after the placement on their perceived level of innovation skills.

Key findings

All age groups in this Australian-based survey of WIL participants in STEM placements showed a perceived improvement in innovation skill levels. However, students who worked a 20-week WIL placement rated themselves higher post placement in teamwork and higher in problem solving and innovation skills compared to students in 12-week WIL placements.

 

Practitioner’s thoughts by

Earl Anderson (Co-op Coordinator, British Columbia Institute of Technology)

What insights did you gain from reading this article that were useful to you?

This study reinforced the fact that employers and students both value WIL placements that are longer (at least twelve weeks). It was informative to see the cluster of skills defined that relate to innovation (problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork) are all ones that employers value across disciplines.

Does this study raise questions for you that require further research/investigation?

It may be valuable to see if there is any difference between a student’s perception of learning and a comparison between paid and unpaid WIL placements. Further research on the relationship to the length of the WIL placement and the level of perceived learning might also be helpful.