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J Probl Based Learn > Volume 2(1); 2015 > Article
Journal of Problem-Based Learning 2015;2(1): 1-10.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24313/jpbl.2015.2.1.1    Published online January 31, 2015.
Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Integrating Frameworks for Education and Practice
Sarah Jeong1, Margaret McMillan2
1Ph.D., RN MN Grad Dip (Aged care) BN Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery University of Newcastle, Australia
2OAM Ph.D., RN BA MCurr St (Honours) DNE Emeritus Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery University of Newcastle, Australia
Correspondence  Sarah Jeong ,Tel: 61-2-4349-4535, Fax: 61-2-4349-4538, Email: Sarah.Jeong@newcastle.edu.au

To explore i) the nature and extent to which work oriented placements at an international level offer opportunities to experience actual and contemporary practice and ii) gain new insights into the complexities of applying concepts acquired in virtual learning situations and to determine the extent to which assessment of learning outcomes focuses on elements of: acquisition of abilities, requirements for professional competence and confidence, the honing of skills sets.
A mixed methods approach was used including; a focus group interview, literature review; identification of pedagogy and approaches used in field experiences; identification of best practices with respect to learning outcomes. Participants include all stakeholders: Curriculum developers, education providers, students, consumers of health services.
There is a continuum representing a spectrum of WIL activities conducted both locally in Australia and internationally and there are four broad categories of evidence of outcomes of WIL irrespective of the context of practice; 1) Reflections on real work/real time activities, including direct observation and third party reports, 2) The need for use of structured activities in simulation, demonstration and activity sheets; 3) Questioning, including oral and written (including international work-related projects); and 4) Keeping records in portfolios and/or actual current workplace documentation of activities.
Further research needs to be undertaken to develop guiding principles to assess the extent to which assessment tasks in WIL at an international level are: Valid, sufficient, current and authentic with respect to the needs of the profession and the people for whom they are caring.
Development of guidelines and frameworks that include international professional placements has the potential to 1) optimise learning outcomes and experiences of students at Undergraduate and Graduate levels, 2) provide educators with principles, best practices guidelines to check the validity of assessment tools and learning resources, and 3) inform policy, procedure and practices for all stakeholders: teachers, students and consumers of health care.
Keywords: Cultural competence, Work integrated learning, assessment for competence and confidence, curriculum development
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