Undergraduate work placement and academic performance: Failing by doing

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
ISBN
0 908557 54 X
Abstract 

Universities promote vocational degrees with elements of work placement. While there is consensus on a wide range of student benefits from such programmes, it is often asserted that on return to studies after placement, there will be enhanced academic achievement. To date there has been little published research on this. A statistical investigation was undertaken of business undergraduates, some of whom undertook paid placement (one year duration) to test the impact on academic performance. No significant difference was found between those who undertook placement and those who did not. In discussion consideration was taken of motivation and transfer of learning; the architecture of placement, including placement management, contracts and academic credit, are proposed as key variables at the interface of experiential and academic learning domains. A model for optimising the benefits for stakeholders is proposed.

Keywords: placement, academic achievement, learning-transfer

Undergraduate work placement and academic performance: Failing by doing

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Duignan, J.