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An eye for an I: a framework with focus on the integration of work and learning in higher education
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9129-2923
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0575-4309
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4333-0371
2018 (English)In: INTED 2018: Proceedings, 2018, p. 4923-4927Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Higher education plays a new role in the society and the highly specialized labor market, and higher education institutes are expected to interact with and contribute to the surrounding society. University West in Sweden is since 2002 commissioned by the government to develop the pedagogical strategy called work-integrated learning (WIL) and WIL is the “trade mark” for the University. This means that pedagogical methods are based on WIL and that the faculty is working on further refinement and development in order to maximize the pedagogical gain offered by using the synergy between theory and practice.

Work-integrated-learning activities are often implemented in a course as methods aligned to the learning outcomes regarding knowledge in the specific subject. However, another perspective is that the capacity to reflect and understand the integration of theory and practice could actually be a learning outcome in itself. From this perspective, it is vital to theoretically frame and formulate stringent learnings outcomes. To have a clear framework for this is important for curriculum design, course delivery and assessment, as well.

In a self-evaluation conducted at the University, including focus groups with, both undergraduate and post graduate students, teachers, researchers and managers, a call for a framework has been expressed.

In this conceptual paper, we propose a framework to support, design, delivery and assessment of work-integrated-learning progression, i.e. understanding of the integration between theory and practice. This framework is inspired by theories regarding constructive alignment [3], the SOLO taxonomy, agentic learning, SAMR-model and the RAT-model. RAT means Replacement, Amplifying and Replacement [4] while SAMR is the acronym for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition [5]. Our WIL-4U has also been inspired by SOLO taxonomy [6]

In short, the framework for progression includes a progression from being descriptive regarding the observed practice, skills for comparing and evaluating practices, to be agentic in how theory and practice could be used in synergy for evolving, new theory and development of practice. Thereby, putting on eye on the “i” in WiL.

Ultimately such a framework could support the progression of “WiL-understanding” through an educational program, and that students after graduation have developed readiness for “life-long-learning” and could be agentic at workplaces in the sense that practice and theory are used in synergy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 4923-4927
Series
INTED Proceedings
Keywords [en]
WIL, framework, integration, theory - practice
National Category
Learning
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-12218DOI: 10.21125/inted.2018.0962ISI: 000447408804141ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-12218DiVA, id: diva2:1190691
Conference
INTED 2018, Valencia, 12th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference Valencia, 5th, 6th and 7th of March, 2018
Available from: 2018-03-15 Created: 2018-03-15 Last updated: 2022-02-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An Eye for an I: Focus on integration in WIL
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Eye for an I: Focus on integration in WIL
2022 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This licentiate thesis describes the development and change of forms within a course with a focus on Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). For several years I have been responsible for a course and at the same time author of the syllabus for the course and seen how weak the integration is, and how it is perceived by the students, between theoretical knowledge and the practical work during an internship period. This has resulted in two interventions and processing of the syllabus and above all the methods and pedagogy used for the implementation of the course.

In the beginning, the internship period contained four presentation seminars where the result was only a joint listening to the other students' stories and presentations. This resulted in a discussion and conceptual paper that focused on the importance of integration and how this can be made visible. The first change in curricula was inspired by Flipped Classroom, where students had to submit their narratives in advance in an online shared document. Prior to the seminar, it was assumed that they would then read each other's text and reflect on similarities and differences in experiences and learning in the workplace where they had their internship period. This resulted in a more reflective conversation during the seminars which can be called Peer Reflections where the conversation was always based on previous reflections and each other's thoughts.

The second intervention was carried out in implementation at the same time as it was to be compared with the student's experiences of seminars in a control group that carried out a similar course structure with presentation and examining seminars. The change was inspired by a model from Australia that they call Huddles. This is a concluding seminar as a briefing of the practice. The issues that are discussed are carefully selected in collaboration with the students and have a clear anchoring in their experiences during the practice. The change, which was then implemented, after inspiration from Huddles in one group, with as before four seminars during the internship with carefully selected themes. At the same time, I was inspired by models for evaluating differences in teaching when technology is introduced, such as the SAMR model (substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition) and how this could be seen as a form of progression if technology was changed to AIL. The SOLO taxonomy was also the inspiration for describing the assignments and themes before each seminar.

The research questions presented in this licentiate thesis focus on the students' experiences of how these changes contribute to a better understanding of the integration of what is taught at the university in the form of theory and the practical knowledge they learned in the internship.

Qualitative data collection has taken place through observations and focus groups in both the group where changes have been implemented and in the group that conducted accounting and examining seminars. The results show that the integration in the students' understanding of theory and practice increases. They also experience a progression in their reflections and the seminars, while the students in the control group experience their seminars as scattered and they do not contribute to any knowledge development.

The licentiate thesis also contributes to considering WIL as a complex concept with different areas of responsibility. The university teaches on the theoretical side, Work-Integrated Education (WIE) while on the other side of the dichotomy theory and practice where students are largely responsible for Workplace learning (WPL). Between these, several different activities can be carried out, including Huddles, which can be described as work-based learning (WBL). The university can contribute to these activities with, for example, simulations, the teaching of relevant software used by companies and organizations in the field. Workplaces can also contribute with concrete assignments in the form of various projects that the students are allowed to carry out or perhaps with guest lectures and concrete cases. Seeing WIL as an umbrella covering different forms of activities with different organizational responsibilities can make it easier to see the importance of the different activities and these can be integrated. WIL is not only WIE.

In addition to the view that AIL is an umbrella concept with several different types of activities, ideas are also given on how Huddles can be introduced as a pedagogical method and how progression can be developed within Work-integrated Education and Learning with inspiration from different models.

Abstract [sv]

Populärvetenskaplig Sammanfattning

I denna licentiatuppsats beskrivs utveckling och förändring av former inom en kurs med fokus på Arbetsintegrerat Lärande (AIL). Jag har under flera år varit ansvarig för en kurs och samtidigt författare av kursplanen för kursen och sett hur svag integrationen är mellan teoretiska kunskaper och det praktiska arbetet under en praktikperiod och hur integrationen uppfattas av studenterna. Detta har resulterat i två interventioner och bearbetningar av kursplan och framför allt av de metoder och den pedagogik som använts för genomförandet av kursen.

Initialt innehöll praktikperioden fyra redovisande seminarier där resultatet endast blev ett gemensamt lyssnande till de andra studenternas berättelser och presentationer. Detta gav som resultat ett diskuterande och konceptuellt paper som fokuserade på integrationens betydelse och hur detta kan synliggöras. Den första förändringen inspirerades av Flipped Classroom där studenterna i förväg fick lämna sina narrativ i ett online delat dokument. Inför seminariet förutsattes att de sedan skulle läsa varandras texter och reflektera över likheter och skillnader i upplevelser och lärande på den arbetsplats där de hade sin praktikperiod. Detta resulterade i ett mer reflekterande samtal under seminarierna som kan kallas Peer Reflections där samtalet hela tiden byggde på tidigare reflektioner och varandras tankar.

Den andra interventionen genomfördes samtidigt som studenternas upplevelser av seminarier skulle jämföras i en kontrollgrupp som genomförde ett liknande kursupplägg med redovisande och examinerande seminarier. Förändringen inspirerades av en modell från Australien som där kallas Huddles. Detta görs vid ett avslutande seminarium som briefing av praktiken. Frågeställningarna som diskuteras är noga utvalda i samverkan med studenterna och har en tydlig förankring i deras upplevelser under praktiken. Förändringen genomfördes sedan, efter inspiration av Huddles i den ena gruppen, med liksom tidigare fyra seminarier under praktiktiden med noga valda teman.

Samtidigt inspirerades jag av modeller för värdering av skillnader i undervisning när teknik införs, såsom SAMR-modellen (substitution, augmentation, modification och redefinition) och hur detta kunde ses som en form av progression om teknik byttes mot AIL. SOLO-taxonomin blev också inspiration för beskrivning av uppdragen och teman inför varje seminarium.

Forskningsfrågorna som redovisas i denna licentiatuppsats fokuseras på studenternas upplevelser av hur dessa förändringar bidrar till att bättre förstå integrationen av den teori som de lärt sig på högskolan och den praktiska kunskap de fått på praktikplatsen.

Insamling av kvalitativa data har skett genom observationer och fokusgrupper i både i den grupp där förändringar har genomförts och i den grupp, kontrollgruppen, som genomfört redovisande och examinerande seminarier. Resultatet visar att studenternas förståelse av integrationen mellan teori och praktik ökar. De upplever också en progression i sina reflektioner och i seminarierna medan studenterna i kontrollgruppen upplever sina seminarier som spretiga och att de inte bidrar till någon kunskapsutveckling.

Licentiatuppsatsen bidrar med att betrakta AIL som ett komplext paraplybegrepp med olika ansvarsområden. Å den ena sidan är högskolan ansvarig för att förmedla teoretisk kunskap, Arbetsintegrerad Undervisning (AIU) medan studenten å den andra sidan, till stor del är ansvarig för att integrera teori och praktik genom sitt arbetsplatsbaserade lärande (APL). Mellan AIU och APL finns arbetsbaserat lärande (ABL) där det kan genomföras en rad olika aktiviteter, där bland annat modellen Huddles ingår. Aktiviteter som lärosätet kan bidra med är till exempel simuleringar och undervisning i relevanta programvaror som används av företag och organisationer inom fältet. Aktiviteter som arbetsplatserna kan bidra med är konkreta uppdrag i form av olika projekt som studenterna får utföra eller med gästföreläsningar eller konkreta Case. Att se AIL som ett paraply som omfattar de olika begreppen och innehåller olika former av verksamhet med olika organisatoriska ansvar kan göra det enklare att inse vikten av de olika aktiviteterna och hur dessa kan integreras. AIL är därmed inte enbart AIU.

Utöver synsättet att AIL är ett paraplybegrepp med flera olika typer av aktiviteter lämnas också idéer på hur Huddles kan införas som en pedagogisk metod för att stärka ”I.et” i AIL och hur progression kan utvecklas inom arbetsintegrerat lärande med inspiration av olika modeller.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2022. p. 112
Series
Licentiate Thesis: University West ; 36
Keywords
Work-Integrated Learning, Work-Integrated Education, Workplace learning, Work-based learning, Lärande, Progression
National Category
Pedagogy Learning
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-18059 (URN)978-91-89325-09-8 (ISBN)978-91-89325-10-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2022-02-25, Sal J106, Gustava Melins Gata 2, Trollhättan, 13:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-02-25 Created: 2022-02-04 Last updated: 2022-04-12Bibliographically approved

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Bernhardsson, LennarthGellerstedt, MartinSvensson, Lars

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