Catch up on the latest from the MQ Work Integrated Learning Community of Practice.

Work-integrated learning across the sector and at MQ

At a recent work-integrated learning (WIL) community of practice event, we heard from Associate Professor Kate Lloyd that WIL is designed to maximise opportunities for students to apply their academic learning in contexts beyond the university classroom. According to Universities Australia (2019), WIL “refers to a range of practical experiences designed to give students valuable exposure to work-related activities relevant to their course of study”. As one form of experiential learning, pedagogical approaches to WIL aim to facilitate students’ reflective practice, development of their sense of purpose, insight, competence and agency in relation to their career path and aspirations (Sachs & Clark, 2016).

At Macquarie University, WIL integrates an activity (e.g., placement, project, fieldwork or simulation) with workplace partner engagement and purposefully designed authentic assessment. PACE units (a subset of full WIL units) include an orientation, scaffolded skill development, reflection and a debrief on the experience. Here’s what we covered at the recent WIL event:

Professor Deborah Richards shared a classroom learning activity she uses to help her computing students develop their teamwork skills.

Dr Hamed Jafarzadeh discussed strategies for creating a real-world experience with one industry partner and a classroom full of business analytics students working in teams.

Dr Catherine Fargher offered tips for wrangling many partners for individual and small group media projects.

Photo from the recent ‘Getting started with WIL’ event. L->R: Hamed Jafarzadeh, Catherine Fargher, Kate Lloyd (and Deb Richards on Zoom).

For more information view the recording of the Getting started with WIL event:

Join us for our next WIL CoP event: Different ways to do PACE and WIL

Tuesday, 10 October, 10-11:30am, 1 Central Courtyard, room 114 (or via Zoom)

We’ll hear from three experienced WIL Unit Convenors (see below) about their WIL model. Following that, you can join a Q&A session about the model that interests you most.

  1. Deborah Howlett, Dept of Management, MGMT3060 PACE Business Project, consulting model
  2. Dr Loy Lising, Dept of Linguistics, LING3388 PACE: Accessible and Inclusive Communication, placement model
  3. Associate Professor Wayne Warburton, School of Psychological Sciences, PSYU3399 PACE: Psychological Science: Putting Theory into Practice, mixed models within a large unit.

Join the WIL Community of Practice

Macquarie University’s work-integrated learning (WIL) community of practice (CoP) is a supportive community of current and aspiring WIL practitioners who come together to share experiences, ideas, successes and lessons learned. We plan to meet 3-4 times per year and share information and resources throughout the year.

Complete this form to join Macquarie’s WIL CoP today!


Sachs, J., & Clark, L. (Eds.). (2016). Learning through community engagement: Vision and practice in higher education. Springer.

Universities Australia. (2019). Work Integrated Learning in Universities: Final Report.

Banner image: Brian A Jackson on Shutterstock
WIL event image: Photo by Sharon Zhang

Posted by Teche Editor

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