Placement architectures in practice: An exploration of student learning during non-traditional work-integrated learning in rural communities

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Abstract

Background: Work-integrated learning (WIL) in rural communities provides students with important learning opportunities while also providing a service to those communities. To optimise the potential benefits of work-integrated learning for health students and rural communities it is important to explore the practices and outcomes of these experiences.

Methods: This study used a qualitative research design underpinned by the theoretical framework of Theory of Practice Architectures to examine the way students learn during these placements. Purposive sampling was used to identify students for participation in the study. Seven students from the disciplines of paramedicine, physiotherapy, and speech pathology participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Results: The learning described by the students was examined, followed by a critical interrogation of the data to assess how these learnings and associated practices were made possible given the site-specific practice architectures. The findings of the research are represented by three themes: learning affordances related to placement design, learning through relationships between people and professions, and learning through rural embeddedness.

Conclusion: Being embedded in rural communities gave the students access to several arrangements that fostered learning, particularly through the sayings, relatings and doings that the students engaged with. This research demonstrates the transformative potential of rural WIL opportunities for learning and future rural practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16933
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022

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