Work Integrated Learning: What do the students want? A qualitative study of Health Sciences students’ experiences of a non-competency based placement
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) offers students the opportunity to explore and expand on theoretical concepts encountered throughout their academic studies in an applied real-life context. WIL also assists students in their transition from educational to professional practice informed by experience, engagement and reflection. Traditionally, disciplines such as Medicine, Nursing, Education, and Law have incorporated WIL into their programs. Literature outlines the benefits of a WIL placement to measure learned competencies, which are integral to such fields of practice. Currently, the scope for a WIL experience is expanding into other non-clinical courses due to increasing pressure for universities to produce “work ready” graduates. However, in generalist degrees such as Health Sciences, where clinical or explicit skill competencies are not required, the WIL experience is generic. This study sought the perceptions of past Health Sciences students’ WIL experiences in order to develop appropriate resources for future students.