Toward a Model of Work Experience in Work-Integrated Learning

Work-Integrated Learning in the 21st Century

ISBN: 978-1-78714-860-4, eISBN: 978-1-78714-859-8

ISSN: 1479-3679

Publication date: 29 August 2017


Work experience is increasingly seen as an important complement to traditional higher education. There are a variety of forms of these educational programs, such as internships, sandwich programs, field work, and cooperative education, that are referred to generically as Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). As yet, however, there is relatively little research on the concept of work experience and considerable inconsistency in its definition and measurement. This chapter describes some of the research and writing from the industrial and organizational psychology field and its relevance to WIL. Based on the previous work, a model of work experience, specifically developed to aid our understanding of the role of work experience in WIL, is proposed. Three dimensions are suggested: level of specificity (task, job, organization, and career), measurement mode (number, time, relation to program, density, timing, and type), and version of WIL (cooperative education, sandwich, etc.). The model also includes individual factors and contextual factors as influences on work experience. Both immediate and secondary outcomes are described. Finally, the applicability of the model to several examples of WIL research are discussed and suggestions for future research are offered.



Rowe, P. (2017), "Toward a Model of Work Experience in Work-Integrated Learning", Work-Integrated Learning in the 21st Century (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 32), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 3-17.

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