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July 2014 newsletterACEN LinkedIn GroupACEN

In this issue

1. President's message • WACE and more

2. ACEN Conference update

PhD Networking



3. Research Symposium

4. ACEN Research Grants announced

5. HERDSA Guide 'Work Integrated Learning in the Curriculum'

6. Supporting the Staff who Support Students


New research project aimed at improving WIL outcomes

Aboriginal Community Engagement

8. Assessing Work-integrated Learning workshop • ACEN WA

9. OLT Inclusive WIL project

10. OLT: 'Leading WIL: A distributed approach to enhance Work Integrated Learning'

1. President's Message

Judie KayRecently I represented ACEN at the WACE Board Meeting and attended the WACE International Research Symposium at University West, Sweden. The symposium - the first ever WACE Research Symposium attracted 145 attendees from 25 countries (approx. 15 Australians attended.)

At the WACE Board meeting I presented a brief report on Australia Statement of Intent between the major industry associations, Universities Australia and ACEN to strengthen WIL nationally. The Statement is receiving a lot of interest internationally resulting in recent approaches by the Canadian Government to ACEN for further information. The WACE Board announced the first WACE research grant (US $15,000). Submissions will be called later this year. Sonia Ferns (Curtin University and ACEN WA Chair) and I also represented ACEN at a meeting of eight National Associations to discuss national trends and identify areas for collaboration.

WCE digital story

A digital story capturing the experience of participating in the 10th WACE International Research Symposium hosted by University West at Trollhattan, Sweden, from 31 May to 4 June, 2014, by Dr Kylie Twyfod (UNE).

The WACE International Research Group also met in Sweden with Kylie Twyford (University of Newcastle) providing a comprehensive report on WIL research in the Asia Pacific. It is clear both from that report and from the Australia papers presented at the Research Symposium that Australia is a leader in WIL research internationally. Kylie has also kindly provided photos and a digital story that provides an insight into the symposium in Sweden.

We are all very much looking forward to the ACEN National Conference 1-3 October. All the papers/ showcases are now up on the website and it promises to be a really strong program. Registrations are flowing in including international colleagues from South Africa, Canada, UK, Vietnam, New Zealand and Thailand attracted by the high quality program.

Early Bird closes July 16 so don't miss out on this opportunity as it won't come around again until 2016!!

Judie Kay,

ACEN President

WACE symposium 2014

Collage above also courtesy of Kylie Twyford (University of Newcastle)

2014 Conference logo2. ACEN Conference update

Early-bird registration has been extended until July 16, 2014.

Register now

PhD Networking

A roundtable session will be dedicated to conference delegates enrolled in a PhD focused on WIL to get together.


The program committee are working on a the program and we are developing themes that flow through the day with a mix of papers, showcases and roundtables throughout the day.

A subcommittee is working to make the events at the conference memorable and there will be dancing.


We now have significant sponsorship from

with further in-kind sponsorship from Southern Cross University, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.

Conference sponsors InPlace - smart placement solutions Griffith University

3. Research Symposium

Preceding the Conference, on September 29, is a one day research symposium hosted by Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.

Participants at this symposium will have the opportunity to work with a group of colleagues to develop and present an outline for a research project that investigates a particular aspect of work-integrated learning. Participation will require some preliminary reading and preparation.

Numbers are restricted to 60.

Free to ACEN members and affiliated national associations. Non-members $150.

Register now

4. ACEN Research Grants announced

The ACEN research and scholarship sub-committee has selected 2 scholarship winners from 17 applications for 2014. We followed a similar process to previous years with two independent readers each making a short list and then trying to make a recommendation based on their independent reviews. This year the recommendations were unanimous, however to ensure some additional perspective, as chair,  I also read the top six applications.

The two successful proposals this year are:

Dr. Maria Amigo (Sociology, Macquarie University), Dr. Justine Lloyd (Sociology, Macquarie University)

Title: Learning and teaching through PACE: Changing roles and environments

Brief Overview: WIL projects require radical and far-reaching transformations in routine roles and working environments of academics, students and workplace supervisors. This study seeks to investigate the challenges, opportunities, and practicalities entailed in this dynamic, in order to better understand how to brief and support the three groups of stakeholders involved.

Dr Denise Jackson, Edith Cowan University; Professor Ken Greenwood, Edith Cowan University with industry partners

Title: Enhancing Work-Integrated Learning outcomes among international students in Australia

Brief Overview: This project explores current WIL offerings among WA universities and identifies best practice in the WIL processes for international students. Through canvassing employer, academic and student perspectives, it will identify the challenges and barriers experienced in managing WIL among international students and recommend strategies for enhancing their WIL outcomes.

Professor Heather Smigiel

ACEN Board member and Director, Centre for University Teaching, Flinders University

HERDSA Guide5. HERDSA Guide 'Work Integrated Learning in the Curriculum'

Edited by Sonia Ferns

Work integrated learning (WIL) connects students with industry, business, government and community with the intention of creating authentic learning experiences that strengthen students’ capacity to develop work-ready skills. WIL has emerged as a key strategy for educational institutions in response to changes in tertiary education and the demand for graduates with work related capabilities. This Guide highlights the uniqueness of WIL and the opportunities and challenges it affords.

This HERDSA Guide is a timely and valuable resource providing insights into designing quality WIL experiences that address appropriate academic standards, crafting authentic assessment to evidence student capability, establishing and monitoring mutually beneficial partnerships, managing risk, developing institutional leadership and building staff capacity in WIL, and evaluating the impact of WIL. The Guide offers a range of existing, new and emergent perspectives about WIL in a global context and provides useful information for practitioners and institutional leaders that will enhance institutional understanding and leadership of WIL, resulting in strengthening partnerships between industry, community and universities.

This HERDSA Guide is a collaboration with ACEN, the Australian Collaborative Education Network. To purchase this Guide and other HERDSA publications, visit www.herdsa.org.au

6. Supporting the Staff who Support Students

UWS staff supporting students project

Staff in health services and other settings which take students on placements often find themselves dealing with student concerns – from seemingly trivial timetabling requests to rare but distressing emergencies. With support from the Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE), the Medical Education Units at the University of Western Sydney and University of Melbourne have developed staff training resources in response to research findings on the impact on staff from dealing with students, particularly on 'front line' professional staff. These resources, which include video scenarios, facilitator guides and participant handouts, are now available free, online at


The ACEN support for this project was provided under 2013 ACEN Research Grant scheme.


New research project aimed at improving WIL outcomes

'Working together to achieve better Work Integrated Learning outcomes: Improving productivity through better employer involvement', led by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia and in collaboration with Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, Murdoch University and University of Western Australia, is a new research project that aims to develop and trial approaches to increase employers understanding of and engagement in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in Western Australian business schools.

Project partners, Dr Denise Jackson (ECU), Dr Megan Le Clus (Curtin University), Sonia Ferns (Curtin University), Pamela Struthers (Murdoch University) and Diane McLaren (University of Western Australia), will work with employers to address challenges and trial a range of options to improve WIL outcomes. Further, the project will explore approaches to better engaging employers to offer placements, determine effective support requirements for employers to improve placement outcomes and measure the impacts of approaches have on WIL outcomes for students, universities and employers.

Aboriginal Community Engagement

The Aboriginal Community Engagement (ACE) project at Curtin University is critical service-learning that provides the opportunity for students to work collaboratively with a Perth Aboriginal community organisation. The students are a mixed cohort of Screen Arts and Journalism undergraduates who, through their participation, advance their media production skills while at the same time developing relationships with Aboriginal people from within their own community. The projects are determined by the community participants in collaboration with the students.

Critical service-learning is distinguished from other experiential education by its intention to positively affect both the service recipient and the provider. ACE endeavors to build capacity for community partners while at the same time developing students’ knowledge of Aboriginal people, culture and history, and therefore their professional cross-cultural competence. The emphasis is on service and learning, on culture and on social justice.

The ACE program is further distinguished by its employment of participatory action research as a way of guiding our ways of working with community, and with cultural protocols. Action research is about creating change through action, and change that results in action. Action researchers never work alone, but with community participants, who participate not as subjects but as co-researchers. It is not research done on or for people, but rather research done with people, with community. It brings together action and reflection, theory and practice to come up with practical solutions.

Curtin ACE project 2013 2014

8. Assessing Work-integrated Learning workshop • ACEN WA

Thursday 17 July 2014 • noon – 1pm (Lunch) 1pm - 4pm (Workshop)

ACEN WA event

Assessing WIL Learning ACEN WA eventFacilitated by Ms Sonia Ferns & Dr Megan Le Clus, WIL Project Leader & WIL Coordinator, Work Integrated Learning, Curtin University, Western Australia.

Evidencing students’ skill development challenges traditional models of assessment in a higher education context. Work-integrated learning (WIL) is a highly contextual, multi-disciplinary and complex construct. This workshop will explore tools and strategies for developing and implementing authentic assessment to evidence student outcomes in a WIL context

Flexible Teaching and Learning Room 4.40, Library, North Wing – Level 4, Murdoch University

RSVP Linda Lilly (L.Lilly@curtin.edu.au)

For enquiries Sonia Ferns (S.Ferns@curtin.edu.au or 9266 2435

OLT Inclusive WIL project9. OLT Inclusive WIL project

Call for contributions

The OLT Project entitled, 'Building institutional capacity to enhance access, participation and progression in Work Integrated Learning' aims to translate inclusive education principles into the WIL context in order to improve student access, participation and progression. The project is using a strategic approach across four levels: principles, policies, guidelines, and processes to support students from diverse backgrounds in the disciplines of built environment, business and health.

The project is seeking vignettes of inclusive WIL practice to publish as part of the project's resources. So if you have a program, strategy or resource that reflects inclusive WIL, please complete the 'Contribute to the Project' form and a project team member will be in contact.

If you are interested in contributing in other ways, please contact our Project Officer, Lainie Groundwater at lain.groundwater@gmail.com or lainie.groundwater@qut.edu.au

For more information visit the project website.

10. WIL leadership logoOLT: 'Leading WIL: A distributed approach to enhance Work Integrated Learning'

See WIL Leadership Framework and resources

The outcomes of this ACEN endorsed OLT project are now available for use by the sector including:

This project will be presenting a roundtable at ACEN conference in October.