Below is a detailed program outlining each session with their associated Zoom links.

As we are recording most Summit sessions, you will need to click into each session throughout the Summit using the specific zoom link in the same way you would move from room to room at a face to face conference.

Rountables are the only sessions that you need to register for ahead of time as places are limited due to the interactive format. Register by Friday 23rd October.

All times are shown in AEDT – Check your local time here.

Sub Themes


Enhancing employability through WIL


Delivering Quality WIL


Service learning and community engagement


Globalising WIL


Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement


Innovative, Scalable and Sustainable WIL


Indigenous Engagement: Building Capacity through WIL


WIL Leadership: Shaping the Future

Day 1 – Tuesday 27 October 2020

Enhancing employability through WIL, Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement

10:45am - 11:25am

KEYNOTE: Work Integrated Learning and the Future of Work

(zoom link as above)

Dr Norah McRae, Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education at the University of Waterloo

Norah McRae, PhD, is Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education at the University of Waterloo. Her involvement in co-operative and work-integrated education spans more than twenty years, over which time she has led strategic program development and research on student engagement, community-engaged learning and intercultural competency development.

She is a faculty member for the WACE Planning Institute for Global and Experiential Education and the WACE Assessment Institute. Norah has served as President of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education and is  Vice Chair Strategy & Operations, World Association for Co-operative and Work-integrated Education Board of Directors.


11:45AM - 12:45PM



Showcase 1

(15 mins, starting 11:45am)

The effects of gender and socioeconomic status on perceived employability in students within a career focused unit.

Amany Gouda-Vossos, Monash University


Dr. Amany Gouda-Vossos

Monash University

Dr Mahbub Sarkar

Monash University

Assoc. Prof. Christopher Thompson

Monash University

Prof. Tina Overton

Monash University and Leeds University

Dr. Angela Ziebell 

Monash University

Studies have found associations between employment opportunities and demographic variables such as gender and socioeconomic status (SES), where women and lower status individuals face greater difficulties entering the workforce (Doyle, 2011; McQuaid & Lindsay, 2005; Schieman, 2002). This prompted us to investigate impacts of a career focused unit on student perceptions of employability (i.e. the ability to gain employment suitable to qualification). The unit utilises a WIL approach to student learning through Career Development Learning, and includes exposure to professional workforce principles and the practice of gaining employment (Sarkar, Overton, Thompson, & Rayner, 2017).

We measured students (n = 293) ‘Self Perceived Employability’ (SPE) (21-item scale from Rothwell, Herbert, and Rothwell (2008) modified by Sarkar et al. (2017) pre and post unit completion and followed up with open ended questions. Collectively this allowed us to understand student perceptions of career awareness, confidence in skill, and perceptions of future success.

We found that the largest variation between gender was in confidence in skill, where women’s confidence significantly increased post unit completion while men significantly decreased, leading to more equal perceptions. This was also the case with SES, as correlative tests revealed the SPE of lower SES students increased post unit completion while higher SES remained the same.

The results highlight the importance of employability interventions on less represented demographics to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the workforce. 

Key Words: Employability, Employability Intervention, Inclusiveness, Skill Development 


Doyle, E. (2011). Career Development Needs of Low Socio-Economic Status University Students. Australian Journal of Career Development, 20(3), 56-65. Retrieved from doi:10.1177/103841621102000309

McQuaid, R. W., & Lindsay, C. (2005). The Concept of Employability. Urban Studies, 42(2), 197-219. Retrieved from doi:10.1080/0042098042000316100

Rothwell, A., Herbert, I., & Rothwell, F. (2008). Self-perceived employability: Construction and initial validation of a scale for university students. Journal of vocational behavior, 73(1), 1-12. 

Sarkar, M., Overton, T., Thompson, C., & Rayner, G. (2017). Undergraduate science students’ perceptions of employability: Efficacy of an intervention. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (formerly CAL-laborate International), 25(5). 

Schieman, S. (2002). Socioeconomic Status, Job Conditions, and Well-Being: Self-Concept Explanations for Gender-Contingent Effects. The Sociological Quarterly, 43(4), 627-646. Retrieved from doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.2002.tb00069.x


Showcase 2

(15 mins, starting 12:05pm)

Supporting Science students with securing placements in a variety of non- traditional workplace settings.

Xenia Haysom, Swinburne University of Technology

The effects of gender and socioeconomic status on perceived employability in students within a career focused unit.

Author: Xenia Haysom, Swinburne University of Technology


As the world of work is changing, university graduates will need to ensure their discipline knowledge can be transferred into a variety of industries. More than ever, graduates will need to exhibit boundary-spanning competencies to help facilitate the transition from the classroom to a rapidly shifting labour market. 

To best prepare university students for the future world of work, there is a need to re-think some of our approaches to WIL, specifically broadening optional WIL placements from a discipline-specific alignment to a more discipline-agnostic approach. Broadening WIL placements from a discipline-specific approach and providing students with a variety of placement opportunities, reflects the diverse industry sectors or roles students could end up in post-graduation. For example, organisations such as banks and consulting firms prefer hosting placement students from a broad range of discipline areas to ensure diverse perspectives are captured in their workforce. This approach also ensures students have the transferable skills that industry is seeking for the jobs of the future.

Therefore, there is a need to consider a course-wide approach to WIL placement offerings, particularly for students studying in generalist course areas such as Science or Arts. This paper will discuss strategies that have supported Science students, majoring in Physics, with securing placements in a variety of non-traditional workplace settings. This approach has enabled these students to apply their course knowledge in a workplace setting and provided confidence and clarity to Science students for their future careers.

Keywords: Future work skills, employability, STEM, innovative WIL practices


Showcase 3

(15 mins, starting 12:25pm)

Understanding future work skills in creative fields of practice: Connectedness and professional identity formation in digital group ecologies.

Meg Lomm, University of New South Wales


Author: Meg Lomm, University of New South Wales


Kim Snepvangers, University of New South Wales

Arianne Rourke, University of New South Wales 


Best practice for International Students (IS) in making social, professional, cultural and alumni connections is advocated by the National Strategy for International Education (2016). Yet IS policies and literature, demonstrate disparate references to connectedness and professional identity formation as key for professional success in host countries. This study investigates and provides recommendations as to how Postgraduate Chinese IS’s utilise social media within the context of a creative field of practice to promote connectiveness and professional identity formation. The focus is on how graduate capabilities, connectedness (Bridgestock, 2016) and formation of diverse professional identities (Schien, 1978; Ibarra, 1999) in informal networks could ethically advance formal learning and future work skills. A reflective practice framework is used (Schon, 1983; Kemmis, 2012; Barton & Ryan, 2017) to reveal textual and visual evidence of student’s ‘lived experiences’ (Kemmis et al., 2014) within existing alumni and recent postgraduate digital group ecologies.The lens of an ecologies of practice framework – ‘sayings, doings, and relatings’ (Kemmis, et al., 2014) is used to explore emergent themes of visibility, belonging and initiative to rethink higher education practice when working with IS. Recommendations for enhancing connectedness, will address gaps in current practice to reveal mechanics of transformation in diverse learner ecologies.

Keywords: International Students Ecologies, Connectedness, Professional Identity Formation



Showcase 4

(15 mins, starting 11:45am)

Collaborate. Cambodia.

Iva Durakovic, University of New South Wales

Eva Lloyd, University of New South Wales


Author: Iva Durakovic, University of New South Wales

Co-authors: Eva Lloyd, University of New South Wales


Context/ discussion:

Collaborate Cambodia is a unique cross-disciplinary built environment program encapsulating a two-week socially focussed ‘design studio’ course, and successive four-week ‘professional placement’ (WIL) course that teams students from UNSW Built Environment Sydney and RUFA Architecture and Urbanism, Phnom Penh. 

This research posits that the ‘studio+placement’ structure, underpinned by team-based tasks and collaborative stakeholder engagement, is a pedagogical model that fosters authentic transcultural and socially-engaged learning; with diverse opportunities to translate, apply and transpose skills ‘beyond the academy’; increasing global awareness and soft skills development essential for 21st century graduates to effectively tackle the ‘wicked problems’ societies now face. The showcase discussion will unpack the studio+placement model and conclusions drawn from initial results. 

Research method:

This is the initial phase of a 5 year longitudinal study. A mixed methodology of surveys, semi-structured focus groups and cognitive mapping is used to collect data over successive years of the program tracking student and host expectations pre-program experience and perceptive evaluations post-program experience.


Preliminary results indicate a strong link between perceptions of authenticity in applied learning (WIL), cross-cultural knowledge exchange and collaborative stakeholder engagement. The studio+placement model, within socially focussed program themes, allows increased time for development of familiarity and connections to people and place. This development of meaningful relationships, and in turn trust, between students, community and diverse stakeholder connections is critical to more effective transitioning from academic learning to applied WIL activities in cross-cultural contexts.

 References: Churchman, C. (1967). Guest Editorial: Wicked Problems. Management Science, 14(4), B141-B142. Retrieved April 17, 2020, from

Martin, B., Hannington, B. (2012). Cognitive Mapping. Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions (pp. 30-31).

Thamrin, D., Wardani, L. K., Hasundungan, I. S., & Natadjaja, L. (2019). Experiential Learning through Community Co-design in Interior Design Pedagogy. The International Journal of Art and Design Education, 38 (2), 461-477.

Weimer, M., PhD March 20, 2013. Five things Students Can Learn through Group Work. Magna Publications © 2019 All rights reserved

Yeates, H., McVeigh, M., & Hemert T. V. (2011) From Ethnocentrism to Transculturalism: A Film Studies Pedagogical Journey. Cultural Studies Review, 17 (2), 71–99. 2008

Keywords: WIL, Cross-cultural, Cambodia, Authenticity, Studio-Placement, Professional Skills, Vocational Skills, Skills development, Employability, Globalisation, Internationalisation


Showcase 5

(15 mins, starting 12:00pm)

Professional Placements in the Not-for-Profit Sector.

John McPhee, Swinburne University of Technology


Author: John McPhee, Swinburne University of Technology


In 2019, Swinburne University of Technology, in partnership with the Collier Charitable Fund and Launch Housing developed and conducted a pilot for students with an interest in undertaking a Professional Placement in the Not-For-Profit sector. In this pilot, the Collier Charitable Fund financed the placement of a Swinburne Media and Communications student with Launch Housing for 6 months which was then replicated for the same student with a second 6-month placement at Philanthropy Australia and directly with the Collier Charitable Fund. The pilot was deemed a success from the perspective of all stakeholders. It provided the participating student with an excellent oversight of and a potential career in the Philanthropic and Not-For-Profit space. It offered a novel way for Not-for-Profit organisations to engage in and benefit from the talent pipeline of Swinburne’s Professional Placement program. Last, but not least, it has offered a new donation option for charitable funds as part of their giving program.

 Keywords: Swinburne University of Technology, Professional Placement, Not-for-Profit, Pilot


Showcase 6

(15 mins, starting 12:15pm)

Exceeding Expectations: Designing Vocational Education WIL projects with international partners

Nancy Everingham, RMIT University


Author: Nancy Everingham, RMIT University

Co-authors: Jennifer Crowley, RMIT University


The aim of this showcase is to share the process for achieving international industry quality learning outcomes for RMIT Vocational Education interior design students participating in an intensive WIL project, in the northern hemisphere. This cross-institutional, multi-partnered collaborative project consolidates VE students’ educational and professional skills in an international setting, as well as exposing them to high-level European and Nothern American networks and markets. 

Partnering with New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology HE Interior Design program, RMIT takes its VE students to Paris to work on a design brief set by a French district council with project support from an international architectural firm and other industry partners. Finding themselves outside the constraints of the Australian educational setting, RMIT students become immersed in an international industry framework where all students operate at a given international industry level, not a local qualification level.

This scalable international WIL project was designed to exceed, rather than merely meet, requirements of Clauses 1.5/1.6 of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). It maximises students’ opportunities for employment and further education by: connecting them with relevant international industry and educational networks; extending their understanding of the global trends in interior design; and, providing an employability-enhancing experience of working intensively beyond their domestic comfort zone to achieve international industry standard outcomes. The comprehensive nature of the project accelerates the growth of an employability skill set that can be applied to the students’ industry practice immediately, and into the future.

Keywords: International WIL, projects, connections, collaboration, interior design, vocational, intensive


Showcase 7

(15 mins, starting at 12:30pm)

Classroom vs internship – evidence of learning outcomes of international short- term classroom-based learning vs

international internship learning.

Beate Mueller, University of Technology Sydney

*This session will not be recorded


Author: Beate Mueller, University of Technology Sydney


Short-term programs are becoming increasingly popular for Australian higher education internationalisation efforts. These programs include work integrated programs such as study tours, internships, practicums, and social-impact and company placements as well as more classroom-based courses such as intensive language courses or subject-specific content classes offered through partner universities. The assumption is that students of all different international programs learn similar transferable skills that are relevant in employability contexts through being immersed in new cultural environments, having to overcome the challenges of experiencing unfamiliar situations and engaging with people of different language backgrounds, and can be engaged in the reflection of learning outcomes and their professional application through similar learning and teaching strategies. In order to track how students perceive the personal, career and social impact of different short-term programs, this presentation introduces findings from a 2-year study that includes quantitative and qualitative data from over 150 self-reported student reflections on their professionally relevant learning outcomes and compares what outcomes students of different programs report. It further shows what situations overseas where especially useful for the development of transferable skills.


Crossman, J. E., & Clarke, M. (2010). International experience and graduate employability: stakeholder perceptions on the connection. Higher Education, 59(5), 599–613.

de Blaquière, G. E., Nolan, J. E., & Wray, K. (2019). Joining up the dots: telling the story of employability. How can students in Higher Education be supported to better understand and articulate their employability? Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 10(2), 15-35.

Farrugia, C., & Sanger, J. (2017). Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills & Career Prospects in the United States, 2013–2016. Institute of International Education.

Ferns, S., & Zegwaard, K. E. (2014). Critical assessment issues in work-integrated learning. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 15(3), 179-188.

Green, W., King, E., & Gallagher, J. (2019). How can international learning experiences enhance employability? Critical insights from new graduates and the people who employ them. In R. Coelen & C. Gribble (Eds.), Internationalization and Employability in Higher Education (pp. 25-38). Routledge.

Johnson, M., & Anderson, C. (2019). The impact of education abroad on competency development. In R. Coelen & C. Gribble (Eds.), Internationalization and Employability in Higher Education (pp. 49-58). Routledge.

Jones, E. (2013). Internationalisation and employability: the role of intercultural experiences on the development of transferable skills. Public Money & Management, 33(2), 95-104.

Lackner, C., & Martini, T. (2017). Helping University Students Succeed at Employment Interviews: The Role of Self-Reflection in E-Portfolios. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 5(2), 3-15.

Oguro, S. (2017). Facilitating Intercultural Competences through International Student Internships: Making links to future professional selves. In D. K. Deardorff & L. A. Arasaratnam-Smith (Eds.), Intercultural Competence in Higher Education (pp. 224-228). Routledge.

Oguro, S., & Mueller, B. (in press). Learning abroad and graduate employability: challenges articulating international learning outcomes. Research and Development in Higher Education, 42, 85-93.

Potts, D. (2015). Understanding the Early Career Benefits of Learning Abroad Programs. Journal of Studies in International Education, 19(5), 441-459.

Potts, D. (2018). Learning abroad and employability: Researching the connections. International Education Association of Australia.

Ripmeester, N., & Deardorff, D. K. (2019). Cultural Understanding as a Key Skills for Employability. In R. Coelen & C. Gribble (Eds.), Internationalization and Employability in Higher Education (pp. 213-220). Routledge.

Strange, H., & Gibson, H. J. (2017). An investigation of experiential and transformative learning in study abroad programs. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 29(1), 85-100.

Tran, L., Stafford, G., Thao, V., & Rahimi, M. (2019). Engagement with Asia via the New Colombo Plan: Impact on Australian students’ career directions and employability. In H. T. M. Bui, H. T. M. Nguyen, & D. Cole (Eds.), Innovate higher education to enhance graduate employability : Rethinking the possibilities (pp. 95-108). Routledge.

Keywords: Employability skills, short-term programs, mobility, international internships


1:30PM - 2:30PM




(25 mins, starting 1:30pm)

Perceptions of Disruption and Uncertainty in WIL Digital Storyworlds.

Karen Le Rossignol, Deakin University


Author: Karen Le Rossignol, Deakin University


Higher education learners and educators are grappling with issues of technological disruption and a social climate of uncertainty and change. The digital storyworld model that is presented in this paper researches an experience which mirrors a work environment of flux and change, challenging participants in the digital scenarios to develop skills in synthesising the complexity of the digital world they interpret.

The central focus is on the skills that the digital storyworld model has the capacity to explore and expand through a narrative of meaning-making. The learners are encouraged by the agency of shifting their own perspectives through story and purpose within a digital world, to discover elements of surprise (or the unexpected and uncertain) that create meanings and realities for them. Developing these shifting perceptions enables a greater responsiveness to personal and social disruptions, thus a better preparation for being portfolio shape shifting graduates moving between projects in a future world of work.



(25 mins, starting 2:00pm)

Building and Using Social Capital on WIL for Employability Negotiation

Thanh Pham, Monash University


Author: Thanh Pham, Monash University


Social capital has been evidenced as an important factor contributing to graduate employability but very little has been known about how graduates build and utilise social capital for employability. This study deployed a qualitative approach to interview 38 graduates in Australia. The findings revealed that connections with mentors, supervisors and colleagues on WIL were significantly important to employment opportunities of the graduates. To develop positive relationships with industry stakeholders on WIL, graduates needed to use a range of different capitals. Unfortunately, very few graduates were aware of these techniques. Higher education institutions should prepare students with better techniques and knowledge about develop social connections with industry people before they take WIL.

Keywords: Social capital, employability, work-integrated learning (WIL), higher education

Conference Theme: Enhancing employability through WIL




Registration Required

(60 mins, starting 1:30pm)

Interdisciplinary Project-Based Work-Integrated Learning: Student-Centred Learning to Enhance Employability

Leoni Russell, RMIT University, Julia Alessandrini, RMIT University, Sonia Ferns, Curtin University, Jeri Childers, University of Technology Sydney, Sally Lewis, UniSA



Leoni Russell, RMIT University

Julia Alessandrini, RMIT University

Sonia Ferns, Curtin University

Jeri Childers, University of Technology Sydney

Sally Lewis, UniSA

Intended aims or outcomes:

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) approaches such as interdisciplinary, project-based learning provide students with opportunities to develop employability capabilities required by employers and the future workplace. This interactive roundtable showcases the Australian Technology Network (ATN) project aimed at advancing interdisciplinary project-based WIL across the Australian university sector. This roundtable discussion aims to:

  • Define interdisciplinary project-based WIL and interdisciplinary skills
  • Outline project initiatives, deliverables and key learnings throughout this collaborative ATN project
  • Showcase and share best practice and resources to support project-based interdisciplinary WIL
  • Identify and discuss enablers and challenges for all stakeholders
  • Suggest strategies for designing quality interdisciplinary industry-engaged project-based WIL.

 Overview of activities/discussion:

Activities in this interactive session include:

  • Discussions on interdisciplinary skills development and interdisciplinary project-based WIL
  • Discussions on the challenges and enablers of designing and implementing interdisciplinary project-based WIL
  • Sharing of strategies, approaches and resources for implementing interdisciplinary project-based WIL
  • Sharing of key learnings from this ATN project that support sustainable approaches.

Intended audience:

Industry and community partners, institutional staff, students


Interdisciplinary, industry projects, work integrated learning


2:35PM - 3:50PM




(15 mins, starting 2:35pm)

WIL to Work: enhancing international student capacity through Work Integrated Learning

Judie Kay, RMIT University


Author: Judie Kay, RMIT University


Sonia Ferns, Curtin University

Fleur Webb, RMIT University

Leoni Russell, RMIT University

Matthew Campbell, Queensland University of Technology

Annie Johns, University of SA

Prajyana Kumar, University of Technology Sydney


Work Integrated Learning (WIL) provides students an opportunity to engage in authentic learning activities through connections with industry and community. For international students, this is a highly valued experience as it provides an avenue for developing professional skills and an opportunity to engage with Australian industry and community partners. However, research identifies that international students are overrepresented among those who experience challenges in accessing WIL experiences (Jackson, 2016). Despite awareness of these issues, there are gaps in available support and guidance for international students participating and benefiting from WIL experiences (Harrison and Felton, 2017). In 2015 a National Strategy for Working integrated learning recommended improving communication, capacity and support for international students with all key stakeholder groups. As a response to this need a team of representatives across five universities, funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, worked together with international students to co design and develop a set of online credentials and resources to support international students with WIL.

This showcase provides an overview of the evidence-based credentials and resource development process and how using an innovative co-design method with international students created an informed and targeted response to address issues of inclusive practice for international students and WIL. 

 Keywords: Work-integrated learning, credentials, International students, inclusive practice



(15 mins, starting 2:55pm)

Virtual WIL: Technology Enabled WIL Placements and Projects – Preliminary Findings

Harsh Suri, Deakin University


Author: Harsh Suri, Deakin University 


Friederika Kaider, Deakin University

Wayne Read, Deakin University

Leoni Russell, RMIT University

Annette Marlow, University of Tasmania


Virtual WIL online placements and projectsenable students to interact directly with host industries or communities to work on real-life problems or projects via online platforms, which may be independent of time, space, geographical boundaries and disciplines. The following three characteristics are integral to a virtual WIL experience: real-life tasks or problems are presented to students with briefing from the community or industry representative online; students present their work to the industry or community representatives online; and, the industry or community representatives provide online feedback to students on their project or activity. Quality virtual WIL opportunities reflect the changing nature of work, especially digitally-based gig and contract economies; improve access to placements/projects for all students, especially international and equity groups; and engage a wider range of host organisations and communities in providing WIL opportunities locally and globally (Schuster & Glavas, 2017). In this showcase presentation, we will share preliminary findings from our ACEN funded project aimed at identifying benefits of virtual WIL placements and projects, inherent challenges associated with designing and implementing these experiences, along with effective strategies for overcoming these challenges.


Schuster, L., & Glavas, C. (2017). Exploring the dimensions of electronic work integrated learning (eWIL). Educational Research Review, 21, 55-66.

Keywords: Virtual WIL, Innovative, scalable and sustainable WIL, Globalising WIL, Inclusive WIL



(30 mins, starting 3:15pm)

The Future of Service Learning in Australia

Carol-joy Patrick, Griffith University


Interest in service-learning (SL) as an approach to work-integrated learning (WIL) in Australia continues to grow with a SL network and associated resources now available to practitioners.

While SL is regarded as an approach to WIL this presentation will explore how SL fits within that broader range of WIL in the Australian setting; the special attributes of SL in transforming students not only in terms of professional development, but also in terms of personal development that supports them to become active citizens, contributing to building stronger and more equitable communities.

The presentation will report on the results of a new validation of previous research into SL subjects offered across Universities in Australia and participants will be invited to join the SL Australia network with access to a repository of resources on developing SL subjects as an approach to WIL.

Carol-joy Patrick Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Senior Fellow, Griffith Learning and Teaching Academy

Service Learning, Learning Futures

Griffith University




Registration Required

(60 mins, starting 2:35pm)

How do we Encourage Better Engagement of Industry in WIL?

Rachael Baron, La Trobe University; Julie Harbert & Kate Abraham, Monash University; Dr. Melissa Arkinstall, Exercise Research Australia; Dean Barnett, Intelligence Water Network; Libby Mitchell, AIA Australia



Rachael Baron, La Trobe University


Julie Harbert, Monash University


Industry and stakeholder engagement is key to almost every University’s employability strategy in Australia. This can only be achieved through authentic engagement with industry, community and business. 

Campbell, Russell, McAllister, Smith, Tunny, Thompson & Barrett (2019) developed a quality framework through WIL community consultation across Australia and the global WIL literature more broadly as part of an ACEN funded project.  One of the key findings of the framework and subsequent report was to utilise this framework more broadly outside of the teaching and learning sphere. The facilitators from two universities sort to develop a roundtable discussion to utilise this framework to explore one of the four domains, namely stakeholder engagement with key WIL partners. We aim to use this framework to generate questions to better understand the WIL industry partner experience of working with Universities. This roundtable will address the conference theme of collaborative stakeholder engagement.

A multi-disciplinary panel of industry experts who have worked extensively with Universities in fields of Recruitment, Education, Sports,  Exercise Science and Engineering will share viewpoints and draw on their experience in partnering with Universities, the benefits of industry contribution to WIL curriculum and some insights to how Universities can deepen partnerships to improve WIL learning experiences for students.

The intended audience is for those practitioners, academic staff and industry who are looking for innovative ways to support WIL partners across a range of disciplines.  Participants will have the opportunity to engage in an interactive activity led by a panel member to explore and unpack key engagement questions. These may include but are not limited to the following questions.  How can we encourage better engagement of industry in the curriculum? At what point should we engage industry in the curriculum? How do we engage students as partners in WIL curriculum development? What are innovative ways to deepen stakeholder engagement?

This roundtable discussion aims to provide insight and unveil innovative practice for building quality partnerships which ultimately lead to quality learning outcomes for students enrolled in WIL and Professional Year Programs to support transition to the workplace.


Campbell M., Russell L., McAllister L., Smith L., Tunny R., Thomson K., Barrett M. (2019) A Framework for assuring quality in work integrated learning. Retrieved from


WIL, employability, stakeholder engagement, professional year



(15 mins, starting 3:35pm)

Careering Ahead: A whole school approach to embedding employability across the curriculum

Claire Morrisby, Curtin University



Claire Morrisby, Curtin University


Christina Fernandes, Curtin University

Brooke Sanderson, Curtin University

Rebecca Waters, Curtin University

Sharon Smart, Curtin University

Lydia Timms, Curtin University

Helen Flavell, Curtin University

Dawn Bennett, Curtin University

Gisela Van Kessel, University of South Australia

Angela Berndt, University of South Australia


Many institutions have adopted an intra-curricular focus, combining career development learning (CDL) and work integrated learning (WIL). Driven by accreditation requirements, WIL in the disciplines of occupational therapy (OT), social work (SW) and speech pathology (SP) forms a significant component of the curriculum. However, integration and scaffolding of CDL is a persistent challenge. This project team trialled embedding EmployABILITY thinking (Bennett, 2019) within the existing curriculum, working in partnership with careers practitioners to create a design-led approach to employability.

In phase 1, understanding of employability within the curriculum from the student perspective and as communicated through unit outlines was investigated. In phase 2, a design thinking workshop held with staff considered the wicked problem of embedding employability. In phase 3, four students joined the community of practice, co-creating a communication strategy for teaching employability and CDL more generally.

WIL and CDL are the most commonly recognised activities to develop employability. Scaffolding of CDL through a whole-of-curriculum approach is achievable through explicit teaching and student-led communication.

Shared understanding and effective scaffolding of specific employability literacies has the potential to improve graduate employability. The whole-of-curriculum format was an innovative approach to developing employability skills in the next generation of allied health professionals.


Bennett, D. (2019). Graduate employability and higher education: Past, present and future. HERDSA Review of Higher Education5, 31-61.

Keywords: Employability, work-integrated-learning, curriculum mapping, design thinking

Day 2 – Wednesday 28 October 2020

Delivering Quality WIL, Enhancing Employability Through WIL

All times are AEDT Check local time


10:30AM - 11:30AM




(25 mins, starting 10:30am)

The Practice of Work Integrated Design Learning with Indigenous Communities

Dr Christine Marie Phillips – RMIT University, Mr Jock Gilbert – RMIT University, Dr Julia Alessandrini – RMIT University



Dr Christine Marie Phillips – RMIT University

Mr Jock Gilbert – RMIT University

Dr Julia Alessandrini – RMIT University


Indigenous-led approaches to practice-led design studio learning provide authentic Work Integrated Learning (WIL) engagements that demonstrate good practice and enhanced learning outcomes for students. By exploring a body of work being undertaken in the School of Architecture and Urban Design at RMIT University, this paper presents a germane and iterative model of WIL specifically connecting with Indigenous contexts through the nurturing of sovereign relationships. The work being explored includes consideration of the design studio as a particular pedagogy and the ways that this is mutually supported by informal visits to community by staff and students. This body of work will be examined through three overlapping and mutually informing frameworks; practice-led design, Indigenous-led principles, and Work Integrated Learning.

Key words: WIL, indigenous-led, practice-led design, authenticity

Conference Theme: Indigenous Engagement: Building Capacity through WIL



(25 mins, starting 11:00am)

A Framework to Assure the Institutional Quality of WIL

Matthew Campbell, Queensland University of Technology


Author: Matthew Campbell, Queensland University of Technology


Leoni Russell, RMIT University

Lorraine Smith, University of Sydney

Ricky Tunny, Queensland University of Technology

Kate Thomson, University of Sydney

Lindy McAllister, University of Sydney

Maria Bennett, Queensland University of Technology


As the space of work integrated learning (WIL) has developed in recent times there has been a commensurate increase in interest in assuring the quality of pedagogical and institutional practices in supporting WIL.  However, there is limited evidence of shared institutional wide approaches to defining attributes of quality, establishing benchmarks of WIL in practice (i.e. the enacted WIL curriculum), and implementing a shared evidence-based approach to assuring quality in WIL.  This paper presents a quality assurance framework for WIL practice based on a research project which has engaged with stakeholders across the Australian higher education context.  The research project was undertaken across three phases: review, exploration and benchmarking; to develop a comprehensive framework which represents the dynamic and complex practice space of WIL within higher education institutions.  This paper highlights key features of the framework as a robust, evidence-based and comprehensive instrument for the quality assurance of WIL across an institution.

Keywords: quality assurance, benchmarking, quality framework

Conference theme: Quality WIL




Registration Required

(60 mins, starting 10:30am)

Co-design of Innovative Rural Community Placements to Positively Impact Student Learning and Workforce: Insights from a University of Department Health

Alicia Carey, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University



Alicia Carey, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University


Sarah Hyde, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University

Brent Smith, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University

Jayne Lawrence, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University

Jo Marjoram, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University

Rebecca Barry, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University

Cathy Rogers, Three Rivers UDRH – Charles Sturt University

Intended aims or outcomes:

Aboriginal health, early childhood intervention, chronic care, mental health and disability are recognised areas of need for rural heath workforce. These needs are compounded by changes in the service landscape resulting from commissioned services under Primary Health Networks and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Workplace learning models and curriculum are not always agile enough to adapt to these changes which present challenges for accessing clinical placement and supervision, especially for allied health. We have engaged with service providers across our footprint to co-design, deliver and evaluate student placement models that encompass interprofessional learning, service learning, shared and remote supervision, and virtual models of care using telehealth.

Our vision encompasses community immersion and partnerships alongside a specifically designed student engagement strategy that positively influences rural intention to influence rural recruitment and retention through positive engagement and experiences. Factors to sustain high quality student placements and community partnerships will be explored alongside our early evaluation framework to identify and evidence impact at different levels.

Overview of activities/discussion:

  • Ensuring high quality WIL placements in community settings within the Three Rivers URDH footprint.     Three Rivers UDRH will explore their developed placement models, which include service learning and interprofessional learning in under-served areas.
  • Building clinician capacity to supervise students in NDIS services. By utilising the Rural Health Education team within Three Rivers UDRH, strategies have been implemented to support clinicians to assist students succeed in placements.
  • How we are creating the future with WIL through innovative and collaborative placements and how will we grow and sustain these?

 Intended audience:

The round table discussion would be beneficial to academics, educators, clinicians, students and service providers.

Key references:

Bridges, D., Davidson, R. A., Soule Odegard, P., Maki, I. V., & Tomkowiak, J. (2011). Interprofessional collaboration: Three best practice models of interprofessional education. Medical Education Online, 16(1), 6035.

Croker, A., Fisher, K., & Smith, T. (2015). When students from different professions are co-located: The   importance of interprofessional rapport for learning to work together. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 29(1), 41-48.

Pelham, K., Skinner, M. A., McHugh, P., & Pullon, S. (2016). Interprofessional education in a rural community: the perspectives of the clinical workplace providers. Journal of Primary Health Care, 8(3), 210-219.


Rural, Interprofessional, Collaboration, Immersive, Retention, Innovative.


11:40AM - 12:40PM




(25 mins, starting 11:40am)

The Importance of Metacognitive Regulation for Work-Integrated Learning

Srecko Joksimovic, University of South Australia


Author: Srecko Joksimovic, University of South Australia


Ruth Marshall, Practera

Vitomir Kovanovi, University of South Australia

Djazia Ladjal, Practera

Nikki James, Northeastern University

Abelardo Pardo, University of South Australia


The importance of metacognitive regulation for work integrated learning Solving problems collaboratively depends on the abilities of individuals to integrate diverse skills and expertise into a dynamic, collaborative environment. However, learners often lack the interpersonal skills necessary to engage in collaboration. In that sense, socially-shared metacognitive regulation emerged recently as a framework for understanding processes that occur when groups work together towards achieving a common goal. Providing scaffolds to develop learners’ metacognition has been crucial in developing the skills necessary for successful collaboration, cooperation, and academic outcomes. However, previous research has primarily focused on providing static scripts, without necessarily accounting for learner proficiency and previous skill attainment. In this study, we present initial work in utilising learning analytics methods to support learners’ socially-shared metacognition. In so doing, we designed interventions driven towards supporting learners in building shared understanding, clear task division, and enhancing communication skills. Although delivered in a highly structured environment, within a short program, delivered interventions were associated with higher student engagement and team internal assessment scores.

 Keywords: Work-integrated learning, instructional technology, support interventions, learning analytics

Conference Theme: Innovative, scalable WIL



(15 mins, starting 12:05pm)

Virtual internships: hospitality and tourism WIL in 2020 and beyond.

Christine Bilsland, Macquarie University


Author: Christine Bilsland, Macquarie University


Helga Nagy, Ecole d’Hotellerie et de Tourisme Paul du Brule

Phil Smith, RMIT Vietnam 


Internships are entrenched in hospitality training. However, the disruption that COVID-19 has swiftly brought to the hotel industry also threatens the viability of traditional internship training at hospitality institutions. Especially in tourism-reliant countries where hotels depend on interns as a talent pipeline, innovative alternatives to internships promise to transform the nature of work integrated learning.

 In the absence of on-site placement experiences due to reduced operations and social distancing, “virtual internship” options for hospitality and tourism students may provide practical, location independent learning experiences. Virtual internships present both opportunities and challenges. While benefits for students include becoming more digitally literate and developing self-management skills, challenges include how students develop not only the skills but the “service minded” attitudes and behaviours that hospitality and tourism depend on. Will virtual substitutions for internships become part of the “new normal” and can they adequately prepare students to handle real-life situations?

 This showcase will explore and discuss potential approaches through an exploration of current practice and through interviews done with hotel professionals in three countries; Cambodia, Vietnam, and Australia.

Keywords: Virtual internship, innovative WIL, location independent learning, scalable WIL in hospitality



(15 mins, starting 12:25pm)

Near-peer clinical supervision: impacts on student experience and WIL sustainability

Thea van de Mortel, Griffith University


Author: Thea van de Mortel, Griffith University


Saras Henderson, Griffith University

Judith Needham, Griffith University



Bachelor of Nursing (BN) work-integrated learning (WIL) placement days have increased, impacting WIL sustainability.1 Near-peer clinical supervision, where learners are supervised on placement by more senior students, may improve their experience2 while improving sustainability. The study examined students’ experiences of a near-peer clinical supervision model and the impact on WIL sustainability.


Ninety-two third-year nursing students supervised 39 first year students during WIL placements under the supervision of preceptors. Stakeholders received an education session on their responsibilities. A post-WIL survey was used to investigate students’ experiences. Descriptive statistics were calculated on fixed-response items. Qualitative comments were analysed via content analysis.3 Placement costs were compared to the standard model of delivery.


Seventy students (53.4%) responded. Third year students supervised first-years performing a range of skills, including activities of daily living and vital signs; students reporting gaining confidence in their knowledge and skills. First-year (4.56/5±0.94) and third year students (4.26/5±1.1.4) were positive about recommending near-peer supervision to others. Cost savings >$38,000 were generated. Careful consideration of logistics was considered important for success.


The positive impacts on nursing students’ experiences of WIL and cost savings generated suggest this model offers opportunities to both enhance the WIL experience and improve WIL sustainability.


Graneheim, U.H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24(2), 105–112.

Health Workforce Australia (2014). Australia’s future health workforce – nurses. Canberra: Department of Health.

van de Mortel, T.F., Silberberg, P.L., Ahern, C.M., & Pit, S.W. (2016). Supporting near-peer teaching in general practice: A national survey. BMC Medical Education, 16, 143.

Keywords: Near-peer teaching, clinical supervision, nursing students, WIL sustainability




(15 mins, starting 11:40am)

Accessing student perspectives to help develop a framework to optimise work integrated learning across the health professions

Leonie Griffiths, University of Melbourne


Author: Leonie Griffiths, University of Melbourne


Charlotte Denniston, The University of Melbourne

Elizabeth Molloy, The University of Melbourne



Despite work integrated learning (WIL) forming an integral part of programs in health professions’ education, there are few published guidelines for its implementation. Student voice has been relatively absent in informing existing guidelines.


To access students’ perspectives and experiences of WIL to help inform an evidenced based, actionable curricular framework that sets learning standards with the goal to improve the quality of the WIL experience, a key area highlighted in the National WIL strategy (


Final year students from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (n=1200) were invited to complete an online questionnaire regarding their experience of WIL curricula before, during and after work-based placements. 


294 students responded. Prior to placement, students indicated learning about cultural competency and communication skills were priorities. Opportunities for feedback and to improve the experience for the next cohort were important after placement. Students indicated contact with peers, mentors and supervisors throughout a structured learning continuum was key.


The results have been used to inform a pedagogical framework that describes standards relating to pre-clinical curriculum, workplace learning design, transition to practice, faculty development and communication systems between workplace and university.

Keywords: Work integrated learning, health care students, pedagogy, standards



(15 mins, starting 12:00pm)

Building Ethical and Mutually Beneficial WIL at the Post Graduate Level: Lessons from Development Practice Studies at the University of Queensland.

Kristen Lyons, University of Queensland


Author: Kristen Lyons, University of Queensland


Catherine CooganWest, University of Queensland

Pedram Rashidi, University of Queensland

Susan Chen, University of Queensland

Camille Freeman, University of Queensland

Glenn Ryall, University of Queensland

Ciarra Vu, University of Queensland


Despite the rapid implementation of WIL activities across Australian undergraduate programs, postgraduate level WIL remains comparatively under-developed and under-researched. This paper offers a contribution in addressing this gap. To do this, we report on a two year project to expand WIL within the University of Queensland’s Master of Development Practice (MDP); a program that comprises around 50% international students. This project centres ethicality and mutual benefit (to the university, students and host organisations) as the foundations upon which WIL activities are considered. In this paper, and drawing from project outcomes, we set out 6 principles to guide the expansion of quality WIL at the postgraduate level, including creating authentic learning experiences; ensuring students engage in reflective practices; creating transformative learning experiences; centring ethical conduct; ensuring an inclusive approach; as well as mutual benefit and reciprocity between the university and host organisations. We also reflect on some of the challenges associated with the expansion of quality WIL experiences, including by drawing from our own praxis as part of this project. We conclude that difficulties remain to ensure postgraduate WIL is able to foster a third – hybrid – space, where new possibilities for transformative educational practice are possible. 

Keywords: Ethics, mutual benefit, postgraduate WIL, third space



(15 mins, starting 12:20pm)

Faculty-wide Work Integrated Learning in arts and design: a case study

Barbara Walsh, University of Canberra


Author: Barbara Walsh, University of Canberra 


University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design specialises in creativity and innovation with four programs spanning Arts, The Built Environment, Communications and Media, and Design.

All degrees blend both academic and applied learning from Year 1, supported by a work integrated learning (WIL) curricula in every degree. This starts in year 1 with Professional Orientation; continues in years 2 and 3 with two faculty-wide units that offer students the choice of internships, cross-disciplinary projects, a ‘creative lab’, industry studios or workplace learning; and concludes with Professional Evidence as an industry capstone. The program is overseen by an integrated network of professional and academic, central and faculty staff (Bates 2011).  

The purpose of the WIL curricula is to prepare and introduce students early on to career planning, industry exposure and awareness (Bridgstock 2011); offer choice in their WIL opportunities; and enable them to develop an eportfolio, an understanding of professional identity, industry networks and experience throughout their degrees. Faculty staff are now developing an evaluation program based on the Quality Dimension Framework (Campbell et al 2019).

 This showcase aims to share lessons learned on the processes, challenges and successes of this faculty-wide approach and proposed evaluation.


Bates, M (2011): Work-integrated learning workloads: the realities and responsibilities. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 2011, 12(2),111-124

Bridgstock, R. (2011), “Skills for creative industries graduate success”, Education + Training, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 9-26.

Campbell et al (2019): A Framework to support assurance of institution-wide quality in Work Integrated learning. Final Report. Accessed 17 April at

Keywords: Work integrated learning, faculty-wide, arts, design, curricula


1:30PM - 2:30PM



Registration Required

(60mins, starting 1:30pm)

Virtual WIL: Technology-enabled WIL Placements and Projects

Associate Professor Harsh Suri, Friederika Kaider, Wayne Read  – Deakin University

Leoni Russell, Julia Alessandrini  – RMIT University

Annette Marlow -University of Tasmania


Associate Professor Harsh Suri, Friederika Kaider, Wayne Read 

Deakin University

Leoni Russell, Julia Alessandrini

RMIT University

Annette Marlow

University of Tasmania

Conference theme: Innovative, scalable and sustainable WIL

Intended aims or outcomes:

The aim of this interactive roundtable is to build capacity for designing high quality virtual/online WIL placements and projects. 

At the end of this roundtable session, the participants should be able to:

  1. Undertake a multi-stakeholder analysis of technological requirements for offering a quality virtual WIL experience.
  2. Evaluate typical risks associated with virtual/online WIL and strategies for managing those risks. 
  3. Design strategies for offering a high quality virtual WIL experience for a given scenario.

Participants will explore:

  • What types of high-quality WIL activities could be offered to students solely in an online forum? 
  • What legal and safety considerations need to be considered and implemented for each of the stakeholders? 
  • What technological requirements are needed by each of the partners and what supplementary resources would be beneficial?



Registration Required

(60 mins, starting 1:30pm)

Assessment Design for Work Integrated Learning

Rola Ajjawi – Deakin University

Professor David Boud – Deakin University

Dr Joanna Tai – Deakin University



Rola Ajjawi, Deakin University


Associate Professor in Educational Research, Deakin University

Professor David Boud, Deakin University

Dr Joanna Tai, Deakin University


The aim of this session is to discuss with WIL academic and practitioner the challenges of designing WIL assessment, and the need for assessing the learning that students actually gain from WIL. The facilitators will draw from a guide they have developed for the ACEN community.

At the end of the session, the participants should be able to:
1. Discuss tensions in assessment design and delivery
2. Consider ways in which tensions might be used for productive learning
3. Discuss assessment that helps students learn effectively in work setting

The facilitators will draw upon examples of tensions and assessment practices from participants and introduce a guide to help with the design of WIL assessment in their own setting.

Theme: Delivering quality WIL


2:35PM - 3:05PM




(15 mins, starting 2:35pm)

Graduate attributes, employability skills and employment outcomes.

Tahlia Williams, Swinburne University of Technology


Author: Tahlia Williams, Swinburne University of Technology


Work Integrated Learning (WIL) provides students with the opportunity to contextualise university studies in practice. Professional placements are 6- or 12-month full-time paid work placements in industry. Professional placements allow students to develop their employability skills and gain real workplace experience. The current study invited graduates to reflect on their professional placement experience and their confidence in graduate skills and attributes. The study explored motivation for undertaking a placement and the overall placement experience. Forty-eight graduates completed the survey and twenty-four indicated that they had completed a professional placement during their degree. Based on the sample in the current study, graduates felt the professional placement experience improved their confidence in graduate skills and attributes such as communication skills and organisational and planning skills. Outcomes from the study will assist in understanding the perceived impact of the placement experience on graduate skills and attributes and help improve communication with prospective students and industry partners.

Keywords: Professional placement, work integrated learning, graduate skills and attributes



(15 mins, starting 2:50pm)

Key insights: Participation in employability- related activities and the impact on graduate outcomes.

Denise Jackson, Edith Cowan University


Author: Denise Jackson, Edith Cowan University


This presentation will present some key findings from the first round of annual data for ACEN’s employability-related items included in the Graduate Outcomes Survey. The items generated more than 50,000 responses from graduates of 29 member universities. The data enable ACEN members to gauge their recent graduates’ participation in paid work, different forms of work-integrated learning and co-curricular activities, along with their impact on graduates’ employability outcomes.




(15 mins, starting 2:35pm)

Employability: How much can we achieve in the classroom?

Angela Ziebell, Monash University


Author: Angela Ziebell, Monash University


Amany Gouda-Vossos, Monash University

Chris Thompson, Monash University

Tina Overton, Leeds University

Mahbub Sarkar, Monash University


There is a known skills gap between the skills science students graduate with, and what graduates and their employers report they need once in the workforce (Prinsley & Baranyai, 2015; Sarkar et al., 2016). A study at Monash (Sarkar et al., 2016) detailed the skills gaps specific to our students, and a sustainable, scalable intervention was developed (Sarkar et al., 2017) and implemented to fill those gaps. Skills gaps included; commercial awareness, verbal and written communication, self-evaluation, and the ability to articulate skills. This unit has now run for four semesters (~670 students).

 Using a 21 item self-perceived employability scale and four open questions we found statistically significant increases (Wilcoxon signed-ranked test) in engagement and confidence post intervention (effect sizes small-medium) (Rosenthal, 1994). The highest gains were seen in perception of future success, awareness and confidence in skills. I will further explore how the qualitative and quantitative data support each other.

 While acknowledging that the scale is based on self-perception, it is important to remember that feelings of not being able to cope with setbacks, have been seen to impact student’s ability to actually cope with setbacks (Jackson and Tomlinson, 2020).

While experiences in the workplace are integral to any great WIL program, this intervention demonstrates the power of a targeted and well designed in-class intervention for scalability, sustainability and equity.


Prinsley, R., & Baranyai, K. (2015). STEM skills in the workforce: What do employers want? Occasional Paper Series. Canberra, Australia: Office of the Chief Scientist.

Rosenthal, R. (1994). Parametric measures of effect size. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), Handbook of research synthesis (pp. 231–244). New York: Russell Sage Foundation 

Sarkar, M., Overton, T., Thompson, C., & Rayner, G. (2016). Graduate employability: Views of recent science graduates and employers. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (formerly CAL-laborate International), 24(3).

Sarkar, M., Overton, T., Thompson, C., & Rayner, G. (2017). Undergraduate science students’ perceptions of employability: Efficacy of an intervention. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (formerly CAL-laborate International), 25(5).

 Keywords: Employability, STEM, skills gaps, in-class



(15 mins, starting 2:50pm)

A Framework for WIL at La Trobe University

Marnie Long, La Trobe University

Colleen Holt, La Trobe University


Author: Colleen Holt, La Trobe University

Co-author: Marnie Long, La Trobe University



In 2019, La Trobe University introduced its Framework for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at La Trobe. Designed to guide the embedding of for-credit WIL opportunities within the curriculum, the Framework outlines how WIL is defined at La Trobe and describes the principles which guide how WIL activities are designed and operationalised. Included under the Framework and the aligned Educational Partnerships Procedure (Work Based Learning) are resources for staff, students and industry partners. This showcase outlines the development of the Framework and discusses the challenges of defining WIL at an institutional level.


The introduction of this Framework supports institutional-level quality assurance and leadership of WIL at La Trobe by providing clear definitions, principles and resources to support stakeholders (Campbell et al., 2019). It provides a baseline from which to implement a consistent approach to reporting and evaluation of WIL activities across La Trobe and facilitates the delivery of diverse, scalable and sustainable WIL opportunities for greater student numbers.


Campbell, M., Russell, L., Smith, L., McAllister, L., Tunny, R., Thomson, K. & Barrett, M. (2019) A framework for the institutional quality assurance of work integrated learning. Retrieved from


3:10PM - 3:40PM

Practera: Innovations in Online Experiential Learning

Beau Leese Co-CEO Practera;

Dr Christina Aggar, Southern Cross University

Associate Professor Denise Jackson, ECU

Brigitte McKenna, UNSW Business School

Presentation Details

This presentation will highlight three diverse online experiential learning programs in International Nurse mentoring at SCU, in-curriculum digital industry projects at ECU and virtual global practicum / internships at UNSW Business School, delivered on the Practera platform. These new projects are in part responding to Covid-19 challenges and supported by Practera’s Experiential Learning Innovation Grants (ELIG) Program. Round 3 of the $1M ELIG program is open exclusively to ACEN members with applications closing 1 week after the conference.


Beau Leese Co-CEO Practera

Dr Christina Aggar Senior Lecturer & Academic Researcher School of Health and Human Sciences Southern Cross University

A/Prof Denise Jackson, Director Work-Integrated Learning ECU School of Business & Law

Brigitte McKenna, WIL Program Manager UNSW Business School


3:40PM - 4:25PM


Join the ACEN President who will announce our 2020 ACEN Awards Winners.


Local Hero Award

The Local Hero Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is a small-medium enterprise (SME:0-199 employees) whose engagement with a university in WIL and whose contribution to the WIL experience of students, is above and beyond the expectation of the size of their organisation. Local Hero award finalists are:

  • Hidden Harvest nominated by the University of Wollongong

  • Wateraid Australia nominated by the University of Melbourne

Collaboration Award

The Collaboration Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is collaborating with a university to provide a sustained and significant contribution to WIL. Collaboration award finalists are:

  • The Intercontinental Hotel Group nominated by Edith Cowan University

  • The Department of Health and Human Services nominated by the University of Melbourne

  • IRT Group nominated by the University of Wollongong

  • WIN News nominated by the University of Wollongong

  • RSPCA nominated by the University of Queensland

Innovation and Excellence Award

The Innovation and Excellence Award is awarded to the case study that displays quality and innovative WIL practice. All case studies accepted for website publication are nominated for this award. Innovation and Excellence award finalists are:

  • HealthStop@Agfest: Student-led health promotion at a community event, Dr Kathryn Ogden, University of Tasmania

  • Bridge of Hope Innocence Initiative (BOHII): a multi-disciplinary partnered workplace, Associate Professor Michele Ruyters, RMIT University

  • From skills to start-ups: A pathway for career-ready engineering graduates through innovative WIL approaches, Dr Ginu Rajan, Associate Professor Raad Raad, Lara Pugh & Associate Professor Rodney Vickers, University of Wollongong

  • Transdisciplinary community-based WIL in international contexts, Dr Beate Mueller & Associate Professor Susan Oguro, University of Technology Sydney


In order to replicate as much a possible the networking opportunities at ACEN conferences, we are using Padlets at the ACEN Virtual summit. Ensure you sign up to Padlet ahead of time and read the Padlet Guidelines so you can fully participate in the following:

Themed Padlet Discussions

Themed Padlets will be available throughout the Summit for you to share ideas with your colleagues on WIL and Employability , Engagement , Quality Risk and Innovation and Sustainability.

WIL Chats with WIL Champions

Experienced WIL Champions are available for 1:1 catch ups with ACEN Summit participants after the Summit. Follow the link to connect with a WIL champion to chat about a WIL  idea , challenge or initiative.

Technology Guide

Below is our Technology Guides to assist you in using the technology at the conference.