About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4106-4112
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.1135

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING AND WORK INTEGRATED EDUCATION: A STUDY ON LEARNING PROCESSES AND LEARNING METHODS FOR WORKING LIFE

L. Bernhardsson, L. Norström, M. Andersson

University West, School of Business, Economics and IT (SWEDEN)
It is a common view in higher education to make clear distinction between theory, what you learn in school, and practice, what you learn in the workplace. Work integrated learning (WIL) is an approach in higher education that problematizes this distinction and that supports the understanding of an integrated view of theory and practice. In this paper we report from a study in which we investigate how students become increasingly ready for working life during a course. We explore “the process of learning to be ready for working life”, that we herein call ‘Work Integrated Learning’ (WIL) and we explain how WIL can be supported by ‘the methods used to enhance readiness for working life’, which we refer to as Work Integrated Education (WIE). The first aim of this study is to better understand how students develop readiness for working life. A second aim is to shed light on the distinction between WIL and WIE in order to understand how different types of knowledge sources for students can support the feeling of being ready for working life.

The study is conducted at the bachelor’s degree programs ‘Digital Media’ and ‘3D-animation and visualisation’, at University West, Sweden. During the fifth semester, students have the opportunity to carry out internships in a workplace. The internship is conducted as a course at the university that gives higher education credits. The time spent on the course is split between the workplace (80%) and the university (20%). Every second week the students write down reflections on a given topic related to experiences in the workplace. Topics can be for instance custom relations, professional roles and ethics. The reflection texts are shared openly on the learning management platform so that all students can read each other’s reflections. Thereafter the group meet with faculty teachers in a seminar to discuss each other’s reflections. In the end of the seminar the teachers present a matrix including dimensions related to the topic discussed and the students are given the task to place the organisation they are practicing at in the matrix. The purpose of the shared reflection texts, discussions and work with the matrix is to give the students the opportunity to compare each other’s working experiences and to shed light on aspects of the experience that can help them to feel prepared for working life.

The study is a mixed methods approach and consists of three sets of data: group interviews, online surveys and students' written reports. The research questions we seek answers to are:
- How do the work of writing and discussing experiences from the workplace contribute to students’ personal understanding of what kind of workplace they search for in work life?
- To what extent can both academic theoretical goals and students practical goals be combined during Internship?

Preliminary results show that the student learn something on top of the course curricula. In the seminars discussing and reflecting upon each others experiences from different workplaces, they start to construct a vision for a future workplace of their own. A set of preferences on company size, the way the creative process is conducted, values, type of clients and other factors that define the company where student make internship.
@InProceedings{BERNHARDSSON2020WOR,
author = {Bernhardsson, L. and Norstr{\"{o}}m, L. and Andersson, M.},
title = {WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING AND WORK INTEGRATED EDUCATION: A STUDY ON LEARNING PROCESSES AND LEARNING METHODS FOR WORKING LIFE},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.1135},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.1135},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {4106-4112}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Bernhardsson AU - L. Norström AU - M. Andersson
TI - WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING AND WORK INTEGRATED EDUCATION: A STUDY ON LEARNING PROCESSES AND LEARNING METHODS FOR WORKING LIFE
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.1135
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 4106
EP - 4112
ER -
L. Bernhardsson, L. Norström, M. Andersson (2020) WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING AND WORK INTEGRATED EDUCATION: A STUDY ON LEARNING PROCESSES AND LEARNING METHODS FOR WORKING LIFE, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 4106-4112.
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