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Pre-conference workshops

Wednesday, September 28

We are very pleased to announce the six pre-conference workshops for the upcoming ACEN Conference. The national and international presenters are experts in a range of different and useful areas related to WIL, and these topics will be of interest to both academic and professional staff.


Each workshop runs for 3 hours (including time for morning or afternoon tea) and the cost is $200 per person per workshop ($400 for the full day). This includes morning or afternoon tea and lunch. You are asked to register for lunch so that we avoid wastage of food.


The Pre-conference workshops will be held at Macquarie University on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

Venue: Building C5A Map


Morning – 9.30-12.30 (including Morning Tea 10.30-11.00am)
Choose 1 of 3

1. Reflection (Harvey et al) Abstract Building C5A, Room 310 Map

2. Employability (Bennett) Abstract Building C5A, Room 313 Map

3. ePlacement (Smith & Smith) Abstract Building C5A, Room 315 Map

Lunch - 12.30 -1.30

Afternoon – 1.30-4.30 (including Afternoon Tea 3.00-3.30pm)

Choose 1 of 3

4. Research skills (Barnandike et al) Abstract Building C5A, Room 310 Map

5. WIL & employability CANCELLED

6. Leadership (Patrick) Abstract Building C5A, Room 315 Map



1. Practice makes perfect: Reflection for learning workshop

Dr Marina Harvey with the members of the Macquarie University Reflection for Learning CIrcle: Dr Michaela Baker, Dr Kate Lloyd, Dr Kathryn McLachlan, Dr Anne-Louise Semple, Dr Panos Vlachopoulos, Dr Greg Walkerden

Reflective practice for learning is an integral and key feature of many collaborative education experiences. We know that the development of reflective practice skills can be scaffolded and taught (Coulson & Harvey, 2013). This workshop opens by outlining the key theoretical approaches that underpin reflective practice, the role of reflection for learning, and how students and teachers can be scaffolded to develop their reflective capacity. A suite of scholarly based reflective activities and resources to support reflection for learning, and that offer a good fit for the collaborative education curriculum, are introduced. The evidence that supports each of these activities is also shared. In addition to traditional text-based approaches, these resources 'move beyond the diary' (Harvey et al. 2016) to include a range of modes, including arts-based, embodied, mindful and technological biofeedback approaches.

Workshop participants will:

2. Pushing the boundaries of employability rhetoric to engage teachers and students

Professor Dawn Bennett, Curtin University

Is employability at odds with the traditional purpose of higher education? This workshop argues that it is at the core of everything we do. Employability is defined as the ability to find, create and sustain work and learning across lengthening working lives and multiple work settings. Employability development is predicated not on ways of knowing – the epistemological or functional aspects of employability – but on the cognitive, ontological "ways of being" – students' development along cognitive dimensions with respect to their disposition and capacity to engage as professionals. This workshop will emphasise the cognitive and social aspects of employability through which learners develop as individuals, professionals and social citizens.

Whilst the characteristics of employability are generally understood, the challenge of embedding employability development within higher education remains in critical need of attention. With this in mind, participants will first engage in preliminary discussion and problem solving, followed by small group activities designed for use within existing classes. This will be followed by collaborative ideas for sharing good practice, including strategies for engaging teaching staff and students. Participants will share their own good practice examples and take away resources and teaching strategies.

3. Strengthening Connections and Building Capacity: sharing the e-Placement Scotland Approach

Dr Colin Smith and Sally Smith, Edinburgh Napier University

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) achieves positive outcomes, most importantly for students but also for academics and universities. However, it also requires an ongoing resource commitment to ensure student and employer engagement that can be difficult to maintain over the long term. The ideal situation in an era of tight resources is for WIL to become self-sustaining, so that less resource is required to bring the same valuable benefits year after year. The question of how best to move towards sustainability is one which many WIL practitioners and academics struggle with. This workshop provides an opportunity to look beyond the immediate pressures of maintaining WIL activity to consider tactics and begin to develop strategies that move towards sustainable WIL.

The workshop examines some of the approaches used in the e-Placement Scotland project (, established to deliver paid placement opportunities within the IT sector for computing students studying at Scottish universities. e-Placement Scotland has been considered a model approach to delivering WIL, and the workshop examines initial project assumptions that underpinned early process decisions, and how these were reviewed and adjusted to maximise the number of students placed in work placements. Emergent good practice for student, staff and employer engagement is shared, including priorities around maintaining a sectoral approach, the importance of recognising employer diversity and the specific priorities of SMEs, and the scope for creating a 'virtuous circle' of student engagement. Through this activity, the workshop aims to share experience and consolidate participants' understanding of sustainable approaches to WIL.


4. WIL Curriculum: Embedding employability factors through Research and Learning Skills

Barbara Yazbeck, Monash University, Dr. Sue Bandaranaike, James Cook University, Diana Thompson, Monash University, Michelle Maes, Monash Careers Leadership and Volunteers

Have you struggled to acknowledge, articulate and assess work skills in the curriculum? Current models and approaches often overlook skills students gain through study as important skills for work. A dynamic model is required to inform and evaluate the progression of students' work ready skills across WIL experiences, mainstream coursework and institutional initiatives addressing work skills. The Work Skill Development (WSD) framework (Bandaranaike & Willison, 2009/2016) has recently been explored at Monash University Library as it incorporates and acknowledges skills for study and researching as valuable skills for the workplace. The WSD presents a non-prescriptive, flexible collaborative platform enabling university educators more broadly to interpret and articulate the skills students gain through study and participation at University as skills for the workplace. At James Cook University, the WSD frames students' reflections and appraisal of their work skill development and provides a language to guide conversations with students, employers and educators on students' workplace experiences.

This innovative and active workshop presents a collaboration between James Cook University and Monash University and is focused on practical outcomes to enable participants to apply workshop learnings to their practice. Through discovery learning and stimulating group work activities, participants will unpack the "Facets of Work" of the WSD to facilitate the articulation of work skills within a continuum of learner autonomy. Facilitators will share approaches and examples from both institutions of how the WSD has been utilised and applied within curricula and university employability initiatives to enable educators to work collaboratively from the same page.

5. Expanding the Horizons of Employability through WIL: Visioning 2020


6. Enhancing your WIL practice – personally or institutionally

Carol-Joy Patrick, Griffith University

This workshop aims to support participants to explore the demands WIL places on them in their personal career and/or in the context of responsibility for WIL leadership in an institution. Through the use of a WIL Leadership Framework it will help participants identify capabilities they can choose to develop either personally or at an institutional level to ensure institutional visions for WIL can be supported through appropriate staff development.

The workshop will support participants to either:

Identify how their role as an academic or general WIL staff member relates to discipline and/or institutional goals and provide them with ways to identify their leadership in the area of WIL to exploit that leadership for promotional advantage; OR

Support them to look at the WIL policies and goals of their institution and support them to develop coordinated and cohesive approaches to WIL, and especially to WIL leadership needs within their institution.

The workshop is based on the following findings from the Work Integrated Learning: A distributed approach to leadership project funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching and acknowledge the following challenges in WIL:


The Gold Sponsor of the ACEN 2016 Conference is Intersective, supporting work-integrated learning in Australia


Performance Careers is a Silver Sponsor of the ACEN 2016 Conference

Performance Careers

InPlace is a Silver Sponsor of the ACEN 2016 Conference


The Conference Dinner is generously sponsored by The University of Queensland

The Universiy of Queensland

The Welcome Reception is generously sponsored by RMIT University

RMIT University

The Networking Function is sponsored by HERDSA


The ACEN Conference is grateful for the support of

Macquarie University
Western Sydney University
Education for Practice Institute - Charles Sturt University

Partner organisations

South African Society for Cooperative Education
Canadian Association fo Co-operative Education
New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education
National Association of Field Experience Administrators Inc.
Thai Associataion for Cooperative Education