Supporting Exercise Science students to respond to the challenges of an authentic work-integrated learning (WIL) assessment.

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Work integrated learning (WIL) is increasingly more evident in higher education programs throughoutAustralia, as it offers valuable experiences for students by providing them with opportunities to translatetheory into practice and, as they assume increasing responsibility in the workplace, transition fromstudent to professional practitioner. The benefits of WIL are well documented and attest to preparingwork-ready graduates by developing both generic and explicit career skills that position them positivelyto gain future employment. The purpose of this research was to investigate the nature and degree ofsupport required by Bachelor of Exercise Science students to successfully undertake a WIL actionresearch project in blended mode, during a 360 hour professional placement. Using semi-structuredtelephone interviews, students who have completed the subject in its prior format, were invited todesign structures and systems that, in their view, would scaffold their learning and aid in theircompletion of the WIL subject assessment requirements. Participant data revealed three emergingthemes of support: organizational, pedagogical, and interpersonal. In response to the research results, anonline learning environment has been created that will developmentally scaffold student learning, assiststudents to participate as emerging professionals in the exercise science occupational culturalcommunity, and successfully action their disciplinary, practical, interpersonal and reflective knowledgein authentic professional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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