Deakin University (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 2028 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
A significant issue facing teachers in higher education is how to provide learning environments that support a broad range of students’ learning styles and needs. Biggs and Tang (2007) argue that the challenge is to support a greater number of students to achieve academically at the level that those more naturally, academically inclined students achieve more readily. In these changing educational environments, the need for students to be able to reflect on their learning, particularly in the context of work integrated learning, is emerging as an important element of this and in the development of lifelong learning approaches.

Reflective practice is increasingly being recognised in the literature as a key graduate attribute, relevant to a wide variety of professions and disciplines. In addition, the focus by universities on work integrated learning across a broad range of programs, requires academics to demonstrate how these programs contribute to graduate attributes and promote a graduate workforce that is work-ready. It is important, therefore, for work-based learning and classroom learning to be closely integrated (Biggs & Tang, 2007) and that fieldwork experience to be seen as an integrated component of the curriculum, “rather than as a bolt on experience”. (Patrick et al., 2008, p. vi). Reflective practice is one way of bridging this potential gap.

This paper presents a framework (Larkin & Hamilton, 2010) that supports students’ reflective practice relevant to a broad range of work integrated learning experiences. The framework has been developed to assist students to: identify the factors that influence their learning during industry based learning; explore how their skills and knowledge and attributes influence their personal learning opportunities and outcomes; and, facilitate their reflection on the actions they can take to make the most of the learning opportunities provided while on placement.

The framework aims to enhance students’ experience of work integrated learning and provide a pathway for addressing the need identified by Patrick et al. (2008) to promote work integrated learning pedagogy that facilitates transformative learning. The findings of a recent evaluation of the framework will be presented and teaching strategies that embed reflective practice and related assessment practices will also be discussed. In this way academic staff can support student learning that is transformative and establishes adult learning patterns that are indicative of a lifelong approach to learning.

Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university. (3rd ed). Berkshire: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education.

Larkin, H., & Hamilton, A. (2010). Making the most of your fieldwork learning opportunity. In K. Stagnitti, A. Schoo & D. Welch (Ed.’s). Clinical placement and fieldwork education. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Patrick, C., Peach, D., Pocknee, C., Webb, F., Fletcher, M., & Pretto, G. (2008, December). TheWIL [Work Integrated Learning] report: A national scoping study [Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Final report]. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology. Available online and
Reflective practice, lifelong learning, work integrated learning.