INTERDISCIPLINARY, INDUSTRY-BASED WORK-INTEGRATED LEARNING (WIL): TRANSFORMATIVE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND INDUSTRY PARTNERS

Sonia Julie Ferns, Susan Benson, Aloke Phatak, Nina Kumagai, Zachary Riordan

Abstract


The evolving workplace demands a shift from discipline-specific knowledge to capabilities that are transferrable across diverse contexts. Working in interdisciplinary teams, where students are active partners in shaping their learning through engaging in collaborative problem-solving enables profound personal and professional development.

The challenge the students were presented with arose from a collaboration with Lab Tests Online Australasia (LTOAU). The industry partner requested assistance with improving web-design, assessing health literacy of online content, user engagement strategy and optimised use of Google analytics.

The Curtin University team comprised students and academic supervisors from science, commerce, and media communications. LTOAU actively supported students to scope and define the problem, providing iterative feedback as students progressed. Solving real-world problems in interdisciplinary teams inspired students to take ownership of their learning, consider multiple perspectives, and establish a shared learning culture within a diverse team. All stakeholders described positive, immediate and long-term outcomes from the intense collaboration that took place over the duration of the project.

The process for designing and implementing interdisciplinary project-based WIL in partnership with industry will be presented. The industry partner and students will outline personal development the interactive experience enabled. This presentation will highlight transformational learning afforded though interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Keywords


interdisciplinary, project-based, work-integrated learning, industry engagement

Full Text:

PDF