Work-integrated learning (WIL) refers to the integration of disciplinary knowledge and skills (Boud and Solomon, 2001), between theoretical, practical and general life experience (Cooper, Orrell and Bowden 2010). It has now become an integral part of many higher education (HE) programmes, with various forms of WIL being adopted. Its overarching aim is to integrate discipline learning and workplace application, so as to support students to become work-ready. WIL curricula includes inter alia internships, placements and supervised practice.
However, Johnston et al. (2016) have called for the need for a clearer understanding of WIL parameters in order to develop appropriate quality standards and to assess its impact. Having a better understanding of WIL will not only support institutions in providing quality WIL but will help to identify new models and measures which can be adopted in order to embed work-integrated learning (McRae and Johnston, 2016). In addition, having a robust framework for WIL will support the design of future WIL including the alignment of teaching, learning and assessment strategies, learner support and preparation processes.
This initiative will focus on the design and implementation of a work-integrated learning quality framework that will not only model good practice elsewhere but will ensure that the most effective learning possible will be achieved through WIL. This will include all aspects of WIL, from engagement with stakeholders, to the design and evaluation of WIL programmes, and will include an exploration of the policies, resources and initiatives required to support and assess WIL.