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Type: Conference paper
Title: Work Skill Development Framework: an innovative assessment for Work Integrated Learning
Author: Bandaranaike, S.
Willison, J.
Citation: Proceedings of the ACEN (Australian Collaborative Education Network) National Conference 2010, held in Perth, Australia 27-Sept-1 Oct 2010: pp.1-19
Publisher: ACEN Inc
Publisher Place: Australia
Issue Date: 2010
ISBN: 9780980570618
Conference Name: Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference (2010 : Perth, Australia)
Statement of
Sue Bandaranaike and John Willison
Abstract: The Work Skill Development Framework (Bandaranaike & Willison, 2009) was developed to inform and assess a student‘s progress in work-integrated learning (WIL) from conception to completion. The WSD is a tool that enables both academics and employers to monitor qualitatively and quantitatively the progress of students, and students to self assess their work skills. This paper presents a study on the use of the WSD in student placements at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The WSD makes explicit six facets of WIL: initiative, use of technology, establishing lifelong learning skills, reflecting on self management, skills in problem solving and applied communication. These six facets are articulated across five levels of autonomy, from highly guided where expectations are explained and modelled, to high levels of student determination. These facets were focussed on by placement students initially via input in a reflective journal, a progress report and a reflective essay. Subsequently, comprehensive interviews on each student‘s progress and achievement based on the principles of WSD were conducted, one with the student and the other with the employer. Over a six month period 27 students and 21 employers were interviewed using the WSD to frame discussions, and to generate a quantification of WIL measures for assessment. Student perceptions were compared and contrasted with the employer perceptions to assess progress during the placement. The research demonstrated that the WSD facets frequently enabled the employer to explore readily and meaningfully the performance of the student across a comprehensive range of nationally accredited employability skills. The findings include that students have a stronger sense of improvements in work skills after completing WIL, than do their employers, but both agree that there is improvement, and that this varies with the specific skill set being considered. While traditional assessment is focussed mostly on quantitative assessment, the WSD focuses on qualitative assessment as well, giving valuable feedback to the student and assessing future employability. Students were able to review, reflect on and so adjust their workplace engagement and receive critical feedback. It is an innovative, inclusive measure of performance that has the potential to be adopted in numerous disciplines.
Keywords: Assessment; Work Skills; Employability; Feedback; WIL
Rights: Copyright 2010 Australian Collaborative Education Network and the Authors.
RMID: 0020107152
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Appears in Collections:Education publications

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