1. Purpose of policy
The University recognises work integrated learning (WIL) as a purposeful, organised, supervised and assessed educational activity required for the completion of a program/course that integrates theoretical learning with its applications in the workplace.
The purpose of this policy is to provide the framework to support and embed work integrated learning into the curriculum at the University.
2. Scope and application of policy
This policy applies to all staff, students and industry partners, professional and community organisations involved in work integrated learning at USC.
The policy does not apply to work experience, which means extra-curricular work undertaken by a student that is not formally assessed and that takes place in an industry or profession that is related to a student’s program. Demonstrated completion of work experience may be required in some programs.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.
4. Work integrated learning (WIL)
4.1 Work integrated learning (WIL) is an umbrella term for a range of approaches and strategies that integrate theory with the practice of work within a purposefully designed curriculum (as provided in The WIL Report by Carol-Joy Patrick et al 2009).
4.2 Within this definition the University recognises three categories of work integrated learning:
Workplace and industry PLACEMENT – students are immersed in a workplace related to their program, discipline or career goals. WIL PLACEMENT must apply class-based learning to structured and supported workplace-based activities* and provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and be provided with timely feedback on their performance. Examples include: Internships, placements, practicums, clinical placements, work shadowing, or supervised professional experience.
Workplace and industry COMPONENT – aspects or components of the workplace are intentionally applied to a program to enhance student career development learning and employability outcomes. WIL COMPONENTS must integrate work-based experiences with class-based learning*. Examples include: industry-based projects or workplace simulation activities.
*Note: Class-based learning (theory) and workplace-based activities (practice of work) may or may not occur in the same course but the connections between the theory and practice need to be made explicit for students in program and course information.
Workplace and industry INTERACTIONS – interactions which intentionally expose and engage students in learning work practices or with workplace or industry experts. WIL INTERACTIONS are an alternate or complementary experience for WIL Placement or WIL Components and must develop and enhance student’s employability skills. Examples include: guest lecturers from industry, authentic assessment associated with workplace case study, study tours, industry site visits or field trips.
5. Purposes of work integrated learning
5.1 The University is committed to the provision of purposeful work integrated learning for all students.
5.2 Work integrated learning exposes students to the context and requirements of professional practice and provides students with the opportunity to:
- develop an awareness of workplace culture and expectations
- develop a practical appreciation of their chosen profession
- develop competencies for professional practice
- demonstrate competencies for professional practice
The University values community engagement through work integrated learning based partnerships with industry partners and professional and community organisations.
6. Context for work integrated learning
Work integrated learning is provided by the University consistent with requirements and guidelines contained within relevant legislation.
7. Managing risks associated with work integrated learning
Staff involved in work integrated learning seek to reduce risks associated with WIL through actions consistent with the University’s risk management framework including: utilising the University’s risk assessment software, establishing agreements with placement partners and students, student orientation to the WIL activity; accurate record keeping and regular supervision.
8. WIL and students requiring reasonable adjustment
8.1 The University makes reasonable adjustments to assist students to have equitable access to WIL, in accordance with the Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy and relevant Anti-Discrimination legislation.
8.2 Where workplace and industry placement is an inherent academic requirement or significant feature of the program/course, the needs of students who may require reasonable adjustment should be considered as part of the program’s curriculum design and accreditation.