Dr Sue Bandaranaike
College of Marine and Environmental Sciences
James Cook University
Sue has been teaching Work Integrated Learning [WIL] and engaged in WIL research at James Cook University, Townsville for over fifteen years. WIL [placements, internships, traineeships] focusses on the transition from university to the workforce and in developing employability capabilities of tertiary students. In order to guide students on core employability skills and assess their levels of self-autonomy, Sue developed a set of criteria [based on the Research Skills Development framework of Willison & O’Reagon,2006] to assist student reflection and professional development in The Work skills Development framework [WSD] [Bandaranaike& Willison, 2009]. Subsequent revisions of WSD has incorporated the more recent focus on affective skills [Bandaranaike & Willison, 2014] which was found to be particularly useful for students with a science base. The WSD can also be adopted to writing cover letters, resumes and addressing job criteria. It is a generic framework that can readily be adopted to other disciplines and professional development as indicated below.
At JCU, students in Environmental Science, Earth Sciences, Marine Sciences and Urban and Regional Planning reflect on core employability skills during their placements via their assessments. They also receive feedback from the employers and university mentors on their performances using the criteria developed in WSD. The WSD has also been adapted for Oral Health students in The University of Adelaide, and in the Allied Health Industry to facilitate professional development. This year Monash University will be developing online modules incorporating the WSD design in Masters of Business Management & Masters of Nursing Practice.
REFERENCE: Bandaranaike, S. & Willison J. (2014). Boosting Graduate Employability: Bridging the Cognitive and Affective Domains. In Moore, K (Ed). Work Integrated Learning: Building Capacity – Proceedings of the 2014 ACEN National Conference, (pp.206-212). Tweed Heads, 1st- 3rd October, 2014. ISBN 978-0-9805706-0-1 http://acen.edu.au/2014Conference/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2014-ACEN-Conference-Full-Proceedings.pdf
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