Scoping Work-Integrated Learning Purposes, Practices and Issues

  • Deborah Peach
  • Natalie Gamble
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 7)


A range of terms is used in Australian higher education institutions to describe learning approaches and teaching models that provide students with opportunities to engage in learning connected to the world of work. The umbrella term currently being used widely is Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). The common aim of approaches captured under the term WIL is to integrate discipline-specific knowledge learnt in university setting with that learnt in the practice of work through purposefully designed curriculum. In endeavours to extend WIL opportunities for students, universities are currently exploring authentic learning experiences, both within and outside of university settings. Some universities describe these approaches as ‘real-world learning’ or ‘professional learning’. Others refer to ‘social engagement’ with the community and focus on building social capital and citizenship through curriculum design that enables students to engage with the professions through a range of learning experiences. This chapter discusses the context for, and the scope, purposes, characteristics and effectiveness of, WIL across Australian universities as derived from a national scoping study. This study, undertaken in response to a high level of interest in WIL, involved data collection from employers and representatives of state and federal government and students and staff at nearly all Australian universities. Participants in the study consistently reported the benefits, especially in relation to the student-learning experience. Responses highlight the importance of strong partnerships between stakeholders to facilitate effective learning outcomes and a range of issues that shape the quality of approaches and models being adopted, in promoting professional learning.


Curriculum Design Workplace Learning Industry Partner Transformative Learning Student Expectation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge the support provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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