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Improving work integrated learning at post graduate level by transferring knowledge between disciplines and domains

Two of the most successful post graduate programs offered by coursework in our university share many common characteristics. The programs have a technical application orientation, they are taught exclusively in external/flexible mode, most students are already employed full time in the domain in which they are studying, the programs employ work integrated learning (WIL) strategies and there is a high percentage of students who have enrolled in university studies for the first time. Whilst negotiating in preparation for an imminent faculty merge it was found that the university experience of the students in these two similar programs was in fact quite dissimilar. The project team used this opportunity to compare the two suites of programs with the aim to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each approach in order to enhance both programs. The programs in the area of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Maintenance Management were compared across a number of criteria, these being, • the way in which they were administered, • the conceptual learning framework underpinning the educational approach, • the mix of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills development, • the use of residential schools / field work, and • assessment practices. The team found that this exercise provided wonderful insights to the diverse way that seemingly ‘similar’ programs can be organised, conceptualised and implemented dependant on the governing discipline area. The common element found across both programs that we believe underpins the success of the programs was the WIL assessment strategies. The learning from this project experience can benefit other programs within and outside of the new faculty.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


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Shanghai, China


World Association of Co-operative Education (WACE)

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Peer Reviewed


Open Access


External Author Affiliations

Asia-Pacific Conference; Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible


Name of Conference

World Association for Cooperative Education. Asia-Pacific Conference