- Linking Work and Learning: Pedagogical Implications
Associate Professor Heather SMIGIEL and Ceri MACLEOD
Paper written for the WACE/ACEN Asia Pacific Conference; Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Transforming Futures 2008
This paper is based on a report (Smigiel and Harris, 2007) of an audit of work integrated learning programmes conducted at Flinders University between January and June 2007 using an on-line questionnaire developed by the University's Flexible Delivery unit. The results of this audit are presented together with the implications for pedagogy and practice.
Download: Linking Work & Learning - Pedegogical Implications.pdf (PDF 50KB)
- Trends in Work-Integrated Learning
Associate Professor Heather SMIGIEL and Mr John HARRIS
Paper written for the 15th World Conference on Cooperative Education. 2007
This paper reports on a university-wide investigation into the trends in various faculties and schools at Flinders University regarding Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). Anecdotal evidence suggests that variations of WIL are occurring in a growing number of faculties and practice is varied across the institution. Past meetings with academic and general staff responsible for WIL suggests that there are many common problems across the institution and a variety of solutions being trialled to improve learning outcomes and experiences for students. This research project is assisting in the identification of successful models of practice and resources used to support these initiatives. Successful practice and supporting documentation will be shared as part of the delivery of this paper. There is a brief summary of the initial findings and a discussion of trends within schools and faculties. A particular focus of this project has been the identification of successful models and strategies and of partnerships and positive working relationships with institutions and businesses outside the university.
Download: Trends in Work-Integrated Learning.pdf (PDF 44KB)
- Inspired Learning: Creating engaged teaching and learning environments for university and school students through university to school mentor programs
Catherine Koerner & John Harris
Paper written for the National Association of Field Experience Administrators conference. 2006
Catherine Koerner, Inspire Peer Mentor Program Coordinator and John Harris, Administrator: Teaching Experience Program, Flinders University
The Inspire Peer Mentor Program (Inspire) operates of Flinders University of South Australia in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, and has received funding from the Department of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA). The experience gained during the past three years is indicating that a mentoring program between the University and schools located in it's local region, which includes key areas of low socio-economic status, can be a major form of community engagement for Higher Education. Inspire received a commendation in the recent Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) Report (2006) as a strategy for community engagement. This paper is written in two sections. The first will use the experience gained from Inspire to discuss the Higher Education sector's involvement in school-based mentoring programs as a strategy for community engagement. Catherine Koerner's analysis of the literature on mentoring, finds that mentoring programs can be an effective intervention with communities to increase school retention rates and engagement with formal learning if they are adequately resourced. She argues that the implication of this finding for the tertiary sector is that mentoring programs can be a strategic form of community engagement. In the second section, John Harris provides a case study of the adoption of the school-based mentoring model by the Teaching Experience Office of the School of Education at Flinders University as one example of how mentoring is being embedded within faculty programs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that those pre-service teachers who had participated, as Inspire mentors were better prepared for their teaching practicums. As a result, second year education students are placed on 20 days of school experience over two semesters to better prepare them for their teaching practicums in their third and fourth years of their Education Degree.
Download: Inspired Learning.pdf (PDF 68KB)
- Your Place or Mine? Evaluating the perspectives of the Practical Legal Training work experience Placement through the eyes of the supervisors and the students."
Paper written for the National Association of Field Experience Administrators conference 2006.
Students who wish to be admitted to practice as a barrister or solicitor in South Australia must complete a recognised course of Practical Legal Training (PLT) which includes a work experience placement in a legal office. At Flinders University, the PLT course includes 225 hours of work experience in a legal office. The Placement requirement raises issues of equity at various levels. Many students, especially those with children or other dependents, face several challenges in working full time (unpaid) for six weeks. Other students who are already working part-time or full-time in law firms resent having to spend class time in preparation for a placement. Many students are obliged for financial reasons to work full time at their placement and then work at night time to earn an income. Equally important is the question of the level and quality of supervision provided by workplace supervisors. Both employers and students are increasingly viewing the Placement as a recruitment opportunity rather than one of teaching and learning. This article explores these issues from the perspective of the supervising lawyers, the students and the pedagogical motivation of the placement.
Download: Your Place or Mine?.pdf (PDF 106KB)
- The Practicum: The Domestic Work of University Teaching
Lesley Cooper and Janice Orrell
Paper written for HERDSA
Practicum coordinators and teachers are the 'Cinderella's' of university teaching. Kept invisible and doing the dirty work with little reward. Interviews with 30 practicum coordinators across many disciplines disclosed a view that their appointment to their role was not a promotion, but the acquisition of additional responsibilities to their already overly demanding workload. What is more, in undertaking the coordination and supervision role in practicum, they acquired an impediment to their personal advancement and attracted few, if any, university rewards.
Download: The Practicum: The Domestic Work of University Teaching.pdf (PDF 51KB)
- Making the Practicum Visible
Lesley Cooper and Janice Orrell
Paper written for HERDSA 1999 conference
Work experience placements are increasingly included in degree programs. One motivation for this increase is the desire to ensure students are 'work ready' upon graduation. It can be difficult for Universities to have a detailed appreciation of the scope of such initiatives in their institutions because these work placements take many forms and are integrated into courses in different ways. Practicum coordinators occupy a critical role in the success of these programs, but they report that the practicum has low status in their departments and their particular role is marginal and isolated within the faculties. As a result, they feel under valued and have little opportunity to benefit from the experience of others with similar responsibilities or to share their own 'wisdom of experience'. An audit of practicum programs at Flinders University provided a rich description of the scope of practicum's across the university, elucidated their diversity and innovation and provided the basis for developing models of best practice and for improvement of practice. This data also generated defensible reasons for improving the status of practicum programs and affirmed the contribution that practicum makes to student learning and the university's broader research and community service endeavours. Importantly, the audit has made the practicum visible.
Download: Making the Practicum Visible.pdf (PDF 166KB)
- Under Stress: The Concerns and Coping Strategies of Teacher Education Students
The topic of student teacher stress in the practicum has generated interest across teacher education programs. However, there is very little research on the sources of support students draw on that help them cope with practicum stresses. Of particular interest in this study was seeking data on this issue directly from the students. That is, to represent the students' perspective. Information was sought from students who undertook two tasks in providing information on their coping. They ranked their five most important sources of support for coping, and they noted the strategies they used to cope with practicum stresses. The critical importance of the student/supervising teacher relationship for student success in the practicum emerged from the students' reports that seeking support from the teacher was their principal coping strategy. Differences emerged between the most and least stressed students in terms of their reported use of coping strategies. Implications of the findings for teacher education programs are addressed in the discussion.
Download: Under Stress: The Concenrs and Coping Strategies of Teacher Education Students.pdf (PDF 139KB)
Developing Effective Partnerships in Fieldwork Education - A Case Study
In this paper, I shall review a Western Australian initiative in developing a multi-layered strategy to enhance the quality of fieldwork education of social work students. As both quotes above assert, social work education internationally has a well established commitment to fieldwork education - much beyond providing 'work experience' or 'opportunities for observation experiences'. Both in Australian and in UK undergraduate social work education, there is a requirement for students to complete at least two substantial periods of time providing social work services under the supervision of a professionally qualified social worker. In this way, students are required to demonstrate beginning-level competence in the application of social work knowledge, skills and values.
Download: Developing Effective Parnerships in Fieldwork Education.pdf (PDF 72KB)
- Waterman Oration
Description: The PowerPoint notes for the November 2000 Waterman Oration at Flinders University - 'Clinical Competence and its Assessment'.
- Download: waterman-oration.pdf (PDF 269KB)