Ward, Lisa J., McAdie, Tina M., Bravington, Alison and King, Nigel (2014) From unskilled to employable: using a qualitative examination of the ‘Placement Timeline Research Method’ to explore student professional and personal development whilst on multiple WIL experiences. In: WACE 10th International Symposium on Co-operative and Work-Integrated Education, 2-4 June, 2014, Trollhatten, Sweden.

This paper explores the method and findings of a qualitative examination into multiple work integrated learning
(MWIL) placements. The research consisted of 14 reflective interviews with students from across discipline
areas who had undertaken a series of work placements. The range of MWIL experiences included professional
placements in nursing and youth work, yearlong placements in accountancy and engineering, self-directed WIL
experiences in arts, informal and part-time placements.
The aim of this study was to explore the transitions that took place throughout multiple placements that helped
the student to become a work ready and an effective professional. A research method, 'Placement Timeline' was
developed. This allows a reflective structure for the researcher to tease out skill development and work
readiness. All interviews were transcribed and coded using NVivo qualitative software.
The paper will discuss selected findings from the research. These provide insights into how multiple WIL experiences may benefit students in their preparation for work. In effect it was as if the work readiness and skills relating to an uncertain and ever changing job market skills were fast tracked over MWIL.This research highlights the key transitional features of MWIL.


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