Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/4.4 Work integrated learning

Contact Officer

Dean of Studies, Learning and Teaching Unit

Approval Date

18/03/2016

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

31/03/2019

4.4.1 Policy principles
4.4.2 Obligations
4.4.3 Application
4.4.4 Definitions
4.4.5 Roles and responsibilities
4.4.6 Design of work integrated learning in courses and units
4.4.7 Assessment of work integrated learning
4.4.8 Evaluation of work integrated learning
4.4.9 Benefits and risks associated with work integrated learning
Related Documents
Modification History

4.4.1 Policy principles

Work integrated learning (WIL) is integral to QUT's approach to curriculum design across courses and supports QUT’s Real World Learning 2020 Vision (C/1.1 Approach to and context of learning and teaching) through the following principles:

  • all undergraduate degree courses are expected to provide students with the opportunity to undertake work integrated learning
  • postgraduate courses, where relevant to course learning outcomes and cohort needs, should provide students with the opportunity to undertake work integrated learning
  • work integrated learning should build mutually beneficial outcomes for students, the University, industry, professional partners and the community
  • management of risks associated with work integrated learning is a shared responsibility of all stakeholders with various stakeholders having specific responsibilities
  • regular evaluation of  work integrated learning informs the quality and benefits of work integrated learning experiences for all stakeholders.

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4.4.2 Obligations

Work integrated learning will be managed according to relevant higher education, health and safety, and anti-discrimination legislation, and QUT policies.  How these obligations are met by QUT is articulated in the work integrated learning protocol.

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4.4.3 Application

This policy covers all work integrated learning which is a formal, assessed, credit-bearing component of a course, where the student is enrolled, and which has the prior approval of QUT. It does not cover work experience that students secure which is outside the curriculum (non credit-bearing). This policy and the work integrated learning protocols apply to all staff and students.

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4.4.4 Definitions

Work integrated learning (WIL) is a learning approach that enables students to learn through engagement with industry and community partners in authentic activities that are planned for and assessed as part of their course.

Units are designated work integrated learning units if associated learning activities demonstrate all the following key characteristics:

  • students engage with an industry and/or community partner
  • students undertake authentic activities for the partner
  • students are assessed in relation to these authentic activities.

Work integrated learning activities occur in many forms and do not necessarily entail learning in workplaces external to QUT. It can also occur on-campus or through virtual environments where students work individually and/or in disciplinary or interdisciplinary teams with industry and community partners. Examples of work integrated learning activities include:

  • Placements (e.g. practicums, co-operative education, clinical placements or internships)
    Through placements, students undertake work activities with industry or community partners as a part of their course of study.  Students learn on-the-job and are supported to integrate this learning through partnerships between the workplace supervisors and the University.
  • Work integrated learning projects (e.g. industry or community projects, work-based projects, research projects in workplace or community settings)
    Work integrated learning projects involve students addressing real problems and needs for industry and community partners.
  • Service learning (also referred to community engaged learning and community based learning)
    In service learning, students explore learning outcomes through community-based activities with the intent that the activity benefits both the learner and the community.
  • Other work integrated learning activities which are designed to engage students in research and inquiry for industry or community partners such as market/audience research and field observation.

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4.4.5 Roles and responsibilities

Effective management of work integrated learning is based on building mutual understanding and collaboration among stakeholders including students, the university and industry. Key to this understanding is the clarification of roles and responsibilities. The following roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders engaged in work integrated learning should be read in conjunction with the work integrated learning protocol.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and Registrar

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) in collaboration with the Registrar is responsible for ensuring that the QUT work integrated learning protocol is reviewed periodically to consider feedback from students, staff and industry partners, as well as, changes in legislative responsibilities, pedagogical approaches and work integrated learning models. The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and the Registrar may approve changes to the work integrated learning protocol following consultation with faculties and divisions.

Executive deans

The relevant executive dean is responsible for appropriately resourcing the management of work integrated learning activities, and ensuring that:

  • a senior person is designated responsibility for oversight of work integrated learning in the faculty
  • faculty staff involved with work integrated learning activities (e.g. course coordinators, unit coordinators and/or other staff involved in work integrated learning) participate in induction and training programs as required and understand their roles and responsibilities; and
  • students are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Assistant deans (learning and teaching)

The relevant assistant dean (learning and teaching) is responsible for signing agreements relating to work integrated learning (including QUT Student Placement Agreements, QUT Project Partner Agreements, non-QUT agreements which have been reviewed by the Legal Office, or agreements relating to student or staff intellectual property or confidentiality) which are required to be signed by QUT.

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4.4.6 Design of work integrated learning in courses and units

Work integrated learning experiences may be incorporated throughout courses, with particular emphasis in the latter stages to facilitate students’ transition to professional practice. Purposefully designed work integrated learning curriculum ensures that experiences are developmentally appropriate, (C/4.2) enabling students to integrate and evidence their capabilities in real world contexts and where relevant to achieve professional registration or membership.

Work integrated learning curriculum design needs to incorporate appropriate activities before, during and after students’ involvement in practice to support students to fully engage in and benefit from their experience. Adopting appropriate flexible, adaptive and inclusive approaches to the design and implementation of work integrated learning will support students’ access and participation.

Preparation activities should clarify expectations about goals, support and responsibilities; prepare students as self-organising, proactive and self-reflecting learners; and ensure students meet mandatory skill, health and safety and other requirements. While students are involved in work integrated learning activities the University maintains ongoing and regular input and contact with students, and oversight and direction of work integrated learning (Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)). Providing structured reflective activities before, during and after work integrated learning (including sharing insights with peers), encourages students’ self-reflective capacities and critical perspectives on work and learning.

The Learning and Teaching Unit digital workplace provides detailed information including protocol and resources to support the embedding of work integrated learning (QUT staff and student access only) into the curriculum.

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4.4.7 Assessment of work integrated learning

Assessment of work integrated learning units should be consistent with the University’s assessment policy (C/5.1) and also take into account the unique context and situations that students face in terms of their work integrated learning experiences. Assessment will therefore draw on a diverse range of strategies that assess students’ engagement with authentic learning activities and the outputs and/or outcomes of this engagement. This assessment may also need to take account of requirements for professional registration or membership.

The assessment design may also involve:

  • negotiated outcomes and assessment based on collaboration amongst industry or community partners, students and QUT academics
  • the industry partner formatively and/or summatively assessing student work.

Assessment design should incorporate feedback from relevant stakeholders and provide opportunities for students to reflect on and respond to feedback in ways that inform future practice.

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4.4.8 Evaluation of work integrated learning

Regular evaluation of work integrated learning activities through collaboration between stakeholders is consistent with university policies on the Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience (C/4.7) and Course quality assurance (C/4.6). In the case of work integrated learning this evaluation will also include the quality of workplace supervision of student experiences (Higher Education Statement 5.4.1). This evaluation should be used to inform continuous improvement of courses, units and work integrated learning activities.

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4.4.9 Benefits and Managing risks associated with work integrated learning

When designing work integrated learning activities, the benefits and opportunities for students, for industry and community partners and for QUT should be considered.

Managing risk associated with work integrated learning is essential and is a shared responsibility of all stakeholders including staff, students and industry partners. Key areas of work integrated learning risk are related to health and safety. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) places a duty of care on everyone to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others in the workplace. Other risk factors such as suitability of work integrated learning, intellectual property, confidentiality and conflicts of interest must be considered.

A student undertaking a QUT approved work integrated learning activity as defined by this policy is covered by QUT's insurance policy. Details of insurance coverage are available on the QUT Students site.

Risks related to work integrated learning should be managed according to guidance provided in the work integrated learning protocol.

Related Documents

MOPP A/8.6 Disability services policy

MOPP C/3.1. Courses and awards

MOPP C/4.2 Curriculum design

MOPP C/4.3 Capabilities for QUT graduates

MOPP C/4.5 Units

MOPP C/4.7 Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment

MOPP D/3.1 Intellectual property

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

MOPP G/6.1 Policy on management of contracts and MOUs

MOPP G/8.4 Student user charging policy

WIL Protocol - Supporting and managing work integrated learning protocols (QUT staff access only)

Assessment Protocols (QUT staff access only)

Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

21.12.16 C/4.4.5 and C/4.4.9 Chair, University Academic Board Revised policy to to add Assistant Dean (Learning and Teaching) role to sign Work Integrated Learning (WIL) related agreements

18.03.16

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy

18.11.11

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy

19.02.11

All

Vice-Chancellor

Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit

13.11.09

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy

14.11.08

All

University Academic Board

Policy renumbered to C/4.4 (formerly C/6.1)

03.11.06

All

Chair, University Academic Board

New policy (endorsed by University Academic Board 18.08.06 and Teaching and Learning Committee 01.08.06); re-named to " Work-integrated learning " - formerly " Workplace learning "; deleted former policy C/6.2 Cooperative education programs - now included in policy C/6.1 as " optional work-integrated learning programs "

11.03.05

All

University Academic Board

Approved definition of workplace learning, pending development of new workplace learning policy (endorsed by Teaching and Learning Committee 01.03.05)

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