CEWIL Research Matters: November 2017

Article #1: Practical typology of authentic workintegrated learning activities and assessments (2017)

Author 

Kaider, F., HainsWesson, R., & Young, K

Journal 

Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 18(2), 153-165

Source 

Work-Integrated Learning Research Portal

Purpose

To determine the nature and extent to which authentic, work-integrated learning (WIL) assessments are embedded into courses to help students become job-ready.

Methodology

1,500 assessments from 40 courses across four faculties at an Australian university were investigated with an authentic assessment framework and typology.

Key findings

43% of sample courses incorporated authentic assessments. Using a framework and typology helps to classify the different types of WIL assessments and serve as a guide to design and offer engaging courses.

 

Practitioner's thoughts by

Ben McDonald (EDGE Instructional Support Coordinator, Waterloo Professional Development Program, University of Waterloo)

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

The expanded authenticity-proximity framework and associated examples provide a framework for the evaluation of a course’s assessments and activities and how they resemble professional practice and fit into the spectrum of WIL opportunities. The article notes that assessments and activities in courses, whether new or existing, can benefit from alignment with authentic assessments to support the graduate outcome capabilities, particularly soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

How might the results of this work impact how you do your job?

Whether as an evaluative tool to assess existing courses or a conceptual model to inform development of new courses, the framework is an opportunity to provide clarity and information to support faculty/staff looking at academic options for EDGE milestones. Noted in the conclusion of the article are the challenges of offering students the opportunities to undertake authentic WIL activities and assessments. Proximity in particular is a logistical challenge involving the time and resources of other parties. Understanding these challenges will enable the EDGE team to better support faculty and to help champion the added benefits of designing and delivering WIL opportunities in the classroom.


Article #2: Differences in the emotional intelligence between undergraduate therapy and business students and the population norms (2017)

Author

Gribble, N., Ladyshewsky, R. K., & Parsons, R

Journal

Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 18(3), 225-242

Source

Work-Integrated Learning Research Portal

Purpose

To compare the emotional intelligence (EI) of therapy students who will partake in clinical placements to business students who have no work-integrated learning placements during their university studies.

Methodology

A cross-sectional survey was used to measure the EI of third-year therapy students at four Australian universities and business students from one university.

Key findings

Over 40% of clinical students reported low EI scores in certain domains and business students were in the normal EI range in all domains. Lower scores may be contributed to underdeveloped EI competencies.

 

Practitioner’s thoughts by

David Thiessen (Career Advisor, Co-operative Education and Career Action, University of Waterloo)

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

The authors’ assertion that EI is (once again) becoming a critical component of employability should not surprise. Even so, their survey suggests that students in seemingly unrelated disciplines (business and various therapies) equally presented low EI scores in independence, problem solving, decision-making, stress management, stress tolerance, and flexibility. The valuable insight from this research is that students across faculties share similar areas of improvement regarding their emotional intelligence.

In what ways do these findings have the potential to change practice for us at Waterloo?

The authors’ findings have potential to encourage better EI preparation for students. Whether that preparation comes through core EI courses, training, mentoring, reflection or coaching, more space for students to develop their EI is a valuable and worthy investment. Such development will not only benefit student success in academic and co-op experiences alike, but also foster student aptitude to reflect on and to articulate their various experiences – employment, academic, volunteer – in a manner relevant to industry needs.