Developing a fieldwork education discourse at university level

Franziska Trede, Joy Higgs

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    Fieldwork education enhances the capacity of new graduates to successfully make the transition into the workplace. Employability skills are enjoying increasing interest and tertiary institutions are focusing on fieldwork education to help their students become work-ready (NCVER, 2003). This paper reports on an onging process of listening, dialoguing and actioning to develop a fieldwork education discourse and foster a dynamic community of fieldwork education practice at Charles Sturt University (CSU). Telephone interviews were conducted to obtain a snapshot of current fieldwork education practices. General and academic staff who worked in fieldwork education were surveyed about the following eight themes: CSU fieldwork education staff demographics, staff development opportunitis for CSU staff, selection systems for practicum placements, student preparation for practicum placements, communication systems with students and practicum placements, student assessment, evaluation of fieldwork placements and connections between fieldwork and employment. The findings highlighted strengths, challenges and opportunities for developments in the fieldwork education community. The dissemination of the survey report was used as an engagement tool for the second debate phase. In the second phase the university community was invited to participate in a debate to dialogue key issues in fieldwork education based on the survey outcomes and to promote a fieldwork education discourse. A virtual community of fieldwork education practice was established using the software program Interact, particularly the non-synchronous forum and a resource website. This paper reports on the survey and debating strategy to enhance a community of fieldwork education practice in universities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWACE-ACEN Asia Pacific
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational conference on Work Integrated Learning: Transforming futures - practice, pedagogy, partnerships
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherWACE Asia Pacific
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)9780980570601
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventWorld-Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) International Conference - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 30 Sept 200803 Oct 2008


    ConferenceWorld-Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) International Conference


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