Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is an umbrella term that describes a range of approaches to learning and assessment that integrates discipline theory, knowledge and skills with the practice of work. WIL activities may be delivered face-to-face, online or through a blended approach. Work Experience is not the same thing as WIL! Work Experience is always extra-curricula whereas a student must be enrolled in a WIL course to do a WIL activity that will be assessed as WIL for course credit. WIL is embedded as an integral part of program design in almost every HE and VE program at RMIT.
WIL, as a way of learning, has lots of benefits for our students. WIL:
- expands knowledge as students learn new professional skills and put theory into practice;
- Boosts students’ resumes and portfolios, increasing the chance of graduate employment in their field of study;
- develops enterprise skills, such as problem solving, teamwork and interpersonal communication techniques, in work settings;
- gives students the opportunity to ‘test drive’ their intended industry’s work culture;
- establishes a network that supports graduate recruitment and career development
Overall, WIL is an effective way of getting students “Ready for Work and Life’.
When you are allocated a course to teach, one of the first thing you should do is ask your program manager if you are coordinating a WIL course, studio or activity. If the answer is yes*, then:
- you should enroll in, and complete, the WILReady Cred for staff – perhaps do this together with any other new WIL practitioners;
- bookmark the staff WIL website – this site contains most of what you need to know about WIL;
- bookmark the student WIL website – to share with students who have not already visited this site;
- ask your program manager if there is a WIL admin team in your area (if there is, you may want to say hello in person or via email as they are very helpful people);
- ask your line manager who you should go to first with any WIL questions that you have.
(*If the answer is ‘no’ – feel free to talk to your program manager about the possibility of getting involved in a WIL course next semester.)