Developing local communities of practice for the integration of work-integrated learning across science curricula

Cristina Teresa Varsavsky, Elizabeth D Johnson, Janice Orrell, Deanne Skelly, Jo Ward, John L Holdsworth, John Rice, Trina Jorre de St Jorre, Malcolm Campbell

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


There is widespread support for integrating work-integrated learning (WIL) in undergraduate STEM education in Australia to support the career development and work-readiness of science graduates. However, science students have limited access to such activities (Edwards et al, 2015). The Successful WIL in Science project, funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching and sponsored by the Australian Council of Deans of Science, seeks to build capability that can significantly grow WIL in science and sustain it over time. One of the strategies of the project is to drive change through the establishment of regional learning networks. The aim of these local networks is to build awareness of WIL, facilitate mentoring and formation of partnerships, and build WIL leadership capacity across science faculties. Regional networks have emerged in Melbourne, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The activities of these networks have been determined by the communities themselves and so vary between the four networks. However, a common theme has been exploration and development of authentic WIL activities beyond an industry placement that are integrated across the curriculum and engage all students. There has also been considerable interest in meaningful WIL beyond industry placements because of challenges associated with the large number of science students, the diversity of science career outcomes, and the current low base for industry interaction. In this presentation, WIL leaders will share insights from their respective networks and perspectives of the leadership needed in science.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2018 - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 2 Jul 20185 Jul 2018
Conference number: 41st


ConferenceHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleHERDSA Conference 2018
Internet address

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