Engineering Classrooms at Work

By IGI Global on Mar 2, 2011
Students learn large swathes of material in college designed to prepare them for the workforce and to make them competitive in the global economy. But without practical experience, some students can later find themselves disadvantaged in the workplace.

However, some scholars argue that Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), also known as Workplace Learning or Practice-Based Learning, uniquely prepares students for the working world.

Work-Integrated Learning in Engineering, Built Environment and Technology: Diversity of Practice in Practice, edited by Central Queensland University, Australia professors Patrick Keleher, Arun Patil, and R. E. Harreveld, provides a snap-shot of a global perspective of the diversity of practices adopted to successfully develop, implement, deliver, and re-invigorate undergraduate and postgraduate Work Integrated Learning (WIL) focused programs in engineering, the built environment, and information technology. The authors who contributed to this text provide a diverse perspective on the manner in which the WIL philosophy can be adopted and adapted and emphasize a learning environment that creates and supports meaningful learning through a contextual lens.

"Work Integrated Learning has a broad agenda driven by contrasting, but often tacit, philosophies which cause researchers to question the interplay and balance of work and learning and to ask just where is the ‘integration' and its value," writes Janice Orrell, an Education Consultant, about this volume. "[Explanations] of philosophies, however, are largely overlooked in the need to attend to governments' drive for graduate competencies to meet workforce demands and to comply with professional standards requirements."

According to the editors, "there is no uniformly or centrally focused or recognised theoretical body that encapsulates the field of Work Integrated Learning. This is not to suggest a ‘unified field theory' of Work Integrated Learning is emerging or indeed, necessary." Rather, they write, "one is wise to embrace the notion of viva la difference!"

To learn more about Work-Integrated Learning in Engineering, Built Environment and Technology: Diversity of Practice in Practice click here: Dr. Arun Patil is also the Editor-in-Chief of IGI Global's International Journal of Quality Assurance in Engineering and Technology Education (IJQAETE), published semi-annually. You can view a sample copy of this recently launched journal here.

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