Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Australian science graduates have among the lowest full-time professional employment of all undergraduate courses (GOS-L 2018). It is hypothesised that professionally open-ended science degrees do not currently create significant opportunities to develop professional identity, leading to poor professional employment outcomes. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) has been proposed as a means to develop professional identity among business students (Jackson 2016), however little evidence demonstrates the impact of WIL on science students’ professional identity. AIMS & METHODS: We investigated the impact of WIL on Nutrition Science and Biomedical Science students’ professional identity. Employing a mixed-methods approach, students were surveyed pre- (N=52) and post- (N=22) placement, and in a focus group (N=6). Thematic analysis was conducted to identify convergent themes. RESULTS: We find evidence to suggest that WIL may help science students develop professional identity, although barriers remain. Students responded that WIL helped to develop their professional identity, and identified more strongly as ‘general professionals’ after placement. Exposure to professional environments, interaction with placement supervisors and work-related tasks were the top enablers to building professional identity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings help to inform science educators about the role of WIL in developing graduate employability by better understanding complex notions of science students’ professional identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages24-24
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019
EventAustralian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019: Student Experience and Student Stories - The University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Oct 20194 Oct 2019
Conference number: 25
http://www.acds-tlcc.edu.au/events/acsme-2/previous-conference-publications/

Conference

ConferenceAustralian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019
Abbreviated titleACSME 2019
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period2/10/194/10/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Work Integrated Learning
  • professional identity
  • employability

Cite this

Czech, D., Choate, J., Jong, J., Bonham, M., & McCaffrey, T. (2019). Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity. 24-24. Abstract from Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019, Sydney, Australia.
Czech, Daniel ; Choate, Julia ; Jong, Jessica ; Bonham, Maxine ; McCaffrey, Tracy. / Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity. Abstract from Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019, Sydney, Australia.1 p.
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title = "Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Australian science graduates have among the lowest full-time professional employment of all undergraduate courses (GOS-L 2018). It is hypothesised that professionally open-ended science degrees do not currently create significant opportunities to develop professional identity, leading to poor professional employment outcomes. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) has been proposed as a means to develop professional identity among business students (Jackson 2016), however little evidence demonstrates the impact of WIL on science students’ professional identity. AIMS & METHODS: We investigated the impact of WIL on Nutrition Science and Biomedical Science students’ professional identity. Employing a mixed-methods approach, students were surveyed pre- (N=52) and post- (N=22) placement, and in a focus group (N=6). Thematic analysis was conducted to identify convergent themes. RESULTS: We find evidence to suggest that WIL may help science students develop professional identity, although barriers remain. Students responded that WIL helped to develop their professional identity, and identified more strongly as ‘general professionals’ after placement. Exposure to professional environments, interaction with placement supervisors and work-related tasks were the top enablers to building professional identity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings help to inform science educators about the role of WIL in developing graduate employability by better understanding complex notions of science students’ professional identity.",
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note = "ISBN: 9780987183484; Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019 : Student Experience and Student Stories, ACSME 2019 ; Conference date: 02-10-2019 Through 04-10-2019",
year = "2019",
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Czech, D, Choate, J, Jong, J, Bonham, M & McCaffrey, T 2019, 'Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity' Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019, Sydney, Australia, 2/10/19 - 4/10/19, pp. 24-24.

Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity. / Czech, Daniel; Choate, Julia; Jong, Jessica; Bonham, Maxine; McCaffrey, Tracy.

2019. 24-24 Abstract from Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019, Sydney, Australia.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

TY - CONF

T1 - Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity

AU - Czech, Daniel

AU - Choate, Julia

AU - Jong, Jessica

AU - Bonham, Maxine

AU - McCaffrey, Tracy

N1 - ISBN: 9780987183484

PY - 2019/10/3

Y1 - 2019/10/3

N2 - BACKGROUND: Australian science graduates have among the lowest full-time professional employment of all undergraduate courses (GOS-L 2018). It is hypothesised that professionally open-ended science degrees do not currently create significant opportunities to develop professional identity, leading to poor professional employment outcomes. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) has been proposed as a means to develop professional identity among business students (Jackson 2016), however little evidence demonstrates the impact of WIL on science students’ professional identity. AIMS & METHODS: We investigated the impact of WIL on Nutrition Science and Biomedical Science students’ professional identity. Employing a mixed-methods approach, students were surveyed pre- (N=52) and post- (N=22) placement, and in a focus group (N=6). Thematic analysis was conducted to identify convergent themes. RESULTS: We find evidence to suggest that WIL may help science students develop professional identity, although barriers remain. Students responded that WIL helped to develop their professional identity, and identified more strongly as ‘general professionals’ after placement. Exposure to professional environments, interaction with placement supervisors and work-related tasks were the top enablers to building professional identity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings help to inform science educators about the role of WIL in developing graduate employability by better understanding complex notions of science students’ professional identity.

AB - BACKGROUND: Australian science graduates have among the lowest full-time professional employment of all undergraduate courses (GOS-L 2018). It is hypothesised that professionally open-ended science degrees do not currently create significant opportunities to develop professional identity, leading to poor professional employment outcomes. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) has been proposed as a means to develop professional identity among business students (Jackson 2016), however little evidence demonstrates the impact of WIL on science students’ professional identity. AIMS & METHODS: We investigated the impact of WIL on Nutrition Science and Biomedical Science students’ professional identity. Employing a mixed-methods approach, students were surveyed pre- (N=52) and post- (N=22) placement, and in a focus group (N=6). Thematic analysis was conducted to identify convergent themes. RESULTS: We find evidence to suggest that WIL may help science students develop professional identity, although barriers remain. Students responded that WIL helped to develop their professional identity, and identified more strongly as ‘general professionals’ after placement. Exposure to professional environments, interaction with placement supervisors and work-related tasks were the top enablers to building professional identity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings help to inform science educators about the role of WIL in developing graduate employability by better understanding complex notions of science students’ professional identity.

KW - Work Integrated Learning

KW - professional identity

KW - employability

M3 - Abstract

SP - 24

EP - 24

ER -

Czech D, Choate J, Jong J, Bonham M, McCaffrey T. Investigating the impact of work integrated learning on science students’ professional identity. 2019. Abstract from Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2019, Sydney, Australia.