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Supporting Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in Australia

• June 2012 Newsletter •

ACEN website

‘Collaborative Education: Investing in the future'  2012 ACEN National Conference

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ACEN eNews

In this issue

1. ‘Collaborative Education: Investing in the future’ ACEN National Conference

2. 'Impact of WIL on student work readiness' project

3. 'Leading WIL' project

4. National WIL Portal

5. ACEN Research Grants awardees

6. State events

7. ACEN Student Scholarship update

8. Vacancies

9. Green Gown Awards Australasia 2012

10. You can contribute too

11. Contact us

1. ‘Collaborative Education: Investing in the future’ ACEN National Conference

Australia's Premiere WIL Conference

Register Now

29 October to 2 November 2012

Have you booked your accommodation for the ACEN 2012 conference?

Get in now to secure your ACEN 2012 conference rate at one of the providers listed on the ACEN 2012 conference website.

Deakin Waterfront Campus link to virtual tourThe ACEN 2012 conference venue is located at Deakin University’s Geelong Waterfront campus. Geelong is a major regional city – the biggest in Victoria with a population over 210,000 and equipped to cater for conferences of every size – Geelong has a significant conference market which contributes an estimated $55.8 million in expenditure to the local economy.

Accommodation and the ACEN conference facilities are all within walking distance from the CBD and the beautiful Geelong waterfront precinct. There’s something for everyone in the city of Geelong, including attractions, shopping and entertainment, a variety of places to eat, parks and gardens, plus a lively, ever-changing waterfront.

Geelong prides itself on being a University town and an exciting hub for scientific research in a range of areas, including the biosciences, advanced materials and medicines. Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus has conference facilities for up to 1,500. It's water views would be the envy of any facility of its type in the world and it’s within a five-minute walk of the city’s restaurants, arts and cultural precincts.

2. 'Impact of WIL on student work readiness' project

Data capture is the key objective for the next few months, and our team of thirteen Partner Universities is gearing up for Semester 2 surveys. At the same time, Project Leader Calvin Smith, is presenting some of the Project's findings at the WACE conference in Istanbul, which reveal areas of WIL impact that alumni report were important for them.


3. 'Leading WIL' project

The Project Team is ready to launch a survey designed to capture the views of Employer/Industry WIL partners on aspects of WIL leadership, in particular, the barriers to WIL leadership that they encounter, and strategies to overcome these and support WIL leadership in their organisations. Together with corresponding information from University WIL Leaders, this data will shape the next stage of the Project's work.

4. National WIL Portal

The National WIL Portal has now been operating for just over 12 months with a steady number of opportunities being posted though the Portal. A concentrated marketing effort is now taking place to increase Portal usage and to better understand the user experience. As part of the marketing activities, presentations have been made to Professions Australia and other industry bodies to promote the benefits of WIL and the functionality of the Portal.

Promotional materials will be sent out to other relevant groups and key markets. Efforts will be focused on industries with skills shortages to try to encourage engagement with the Portal.

Individual universities wishing to promote the Portal can contact Kathy Ryan for support and marketing materials on 03 9919 5043 or Kathleen.ryan@vu.edu.au

5. ACEN Research Grants awardees

ACEN aims to foster research and scholarship initiatives in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) by endorsing research and scholarship proposals and identifying and advancing WIL research and scholarship in priority areas.

In 2012 ACEN offered two research grants of up to $10,000 each to conduct an investigation into either
• resourcing work integrated learning, or
• addressing equity issues in work integrated learning.

ACEN is pleased to announce that the grants have been awarded for

1. Supporting staff who support students: a narrative study and intervention for health care settings

Health professional students train extensively in clinical workplaces isolated from campus services. This project builds on a pilot study showing that medical student support is often performed by staff with unmet training and support needs. Findings will be extended to other health professional programs to develop and evaluate a training resource for this under-researched but critical group.

The research will be conducted by Associate Professor Wendy Hu from University of Western Sydney (UWS) School of Medicine, Dr Eleanor Flynn, University of Melbourne Medical School and Dr Robyn Woodward-Kron, University of Melbourne Medical School.

2. The development of a conceptual model for the Continuity of Care experience for midwifery students: a Work Integrated Learning Activity

Midwifery students are mandated by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) to produce evidence of twenty Continuity of Care experiences over the three years of their education program. This project will develop a conceptual model to consider how the learning experiences from this model of care are maximised, before, during and after they have occurred.

The research will be conducted by Associate Professor Pauline Glover, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University and Dr Linda Sweet, Flinders University Rural Clinical School, School of Medicine, Flinders University.

6. State events


A very successful joint ACENQ NAGCASQ event was held at QUT on 14 June. More than 70 participants attended from 9 universities with video links to JCU and CQ University. The focus of the day was a panel of industry partners who shared reflections and insights on their experiences of having WIL students in the work place. The diverse panel represented engineering, law, events management, public relations, and public policy. Speakers talked about diversity of WIL students (e.g. over confident and under confident); the importance of communication and emotional intelligence; the realities of work (not all glamorous!); the need to manage expectations; dealing with sensitive issues; transformative learning; and the rewards of seeing students develop as emerging professionals. Brief presentations were followed by great discussion. After morning tea Dr Keri Moore, Southern Cross University presented preliminary data on evidence of financial hardship experienced by students undertaking WIL. There are plans to follow up on discussions on this issue via a Webinar in the next few weeks. One participant emailed after the event:

I just wanted to thank you and your team again for hosting/facilitating a very informative panel discussion today. The speakers are to be commended for their open and frank perspectives, sprinkled with fresh ideas and thoughts for WIL managers and course coordinators to take on board. I look forward to any further opportunities to engage in these types of forums.


ACEN SA/NT recently held their second WIL forum for the year on “Risk Management”. Guest presenters covered what is being done and what should be considered in managing risk in our current and future WIL programs, with a particular focus on students from international and from lower SES backgrounds. This was an engaging Forum which considered the continually increasing diversity of our student groups participating in WIL activities, and how we best support, and manage risk. We are looking forwar d to further discussions on these areas, and how and where we can create adaptable WIL programs to fit the learning objectives of our Programs, and the diversity of our student populations.

Presentations will soon be available on the ACEN website.


Stephen Billett addresses ACEN WA at their recent ‘Curriculum and Pedagogic Practices for Work-integrated Learning’ workshop On Tuesday 29th May, the Western Australian arm of ACEN sponsored an event facilitated by Stephen Billett. 65 attended the workshop titled Curriculum and Pedagogic Practices for Work-integrated Learning and hosted by Murdoch University. Stephen presented a very entertaining account of his recent research activities which generated robust discussion from the attendees. The workshop was an interactive and interesting session enjoyed immensely by all participants.

In a survey administered to those who attended, networking, exposure to contemporary research, quality of the presenter, and the concept of ‘agentic learners’ were listed as highlights of the workshop.

7. ACEN Student Scholarship update

A short list of applicants has been formed and those on that list have been asked to provide supporting documentation by June 30.

Successful candidates will be announced a month later and received $1,500.

Scholarship information

8. Vacancies

University of Sydney - Academic Positions in Work Integrated Learning (Levels B-D)

Teaching and research positions – 4 continuing full-time positions available

See the ACEN vacancies page.

9. Green Gown Awards Australasia 2012

Now in their 3rd year the Green Gown Awards Australasia provide recognition of sustainability best practice in the tertiary education sector in Australia and New Zealand. 2012

Entries are now open

10. You can contribute too

Space permitting, in this newsletter we'll share news about state, national and international events, research, projects, position vacancies and more. Submit material by the 10th of each month for distribution a few days later.

11. Contact us




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