Communication in WIL partnerships: the critical link

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Jeffries, A & Milne, L 2014, 'Communication in WIL partnerships: the critical link', Journal of Education and Work, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 564-583.

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The widespread use of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) in the higher education sector in recent years highlights the importance of forging successful relationships with employers, business, industry and government. This article reports on a large ethnographic study conducted by Victoria University into host organisations’ perceptions of WIL. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, this study confirms the findings in the literature that good communication is important for successful WIL outcomes. However, rather more surprisingly, it found that despite the literature, a small but significant number of hosts were not satisfied with the communication practices of some of the tertiary institutions they worked with and cited examples of unsatisfactory practices. This study explores patterns in the data in relation to satisfactory and unsatisfactory communication practices on the part of tertiary institutions, showing ways in which communication practices can impact on WIL opportunities and student learning for better or worse.

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