Assessing student outcomes in fieldwork placements: an overview of current practice

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Ferns, S & Moore, K 2012, 'Assessing student outcomes in fieldwork placements: an overview of current practice', Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, vol. 13, no.4, pp. 207-224.

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Arguably, successful WIL activities contribute to a sustainable workforce for the future economic growth and improvement of the Australian economy. While there is a growing abundance of literature on work-integrated learning, specifically, fieldwork, there is little on how this is assessed, the quality of the assessment process and ultimately, the outcomes for students. The study explored the assessment strategy used in a selection of undergraduate subjects/units which incorporated a fieldwork component. All subjects employed multiple assessment points to verify student proficiency. Communication skills, discipline knowledge and professional skills were the Graduate Attributes most frequently assessed while international perspectives was not aligned to any assessment tasks. While partnerships with industry were highlighted as an essential element of a successful WIL experience, the majority of feedback to students was provided by academic staff. The research highlighted a diversity of approaches in pre- and post-placement activities to enable students to prepare for and reflect upon the placement experience.

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