Category Archives: Collaborations and Projects

Capturing learning gain from work placements

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About the project

Building on our Institutional Employability Strategy, the University of Dundee plans to use the opportunity provided by the Strategic Excellence Initiative to develop and pilot guidelines to identify and capture the learning gain of students who have been offered work-based learning opportunities.

The project is led by the Centre for enhancement of Academic Skills, Teaching, Learning & Employability (CASTLE), in partnership with the Careers & Employability Service and the School of Education & Social Work.  It will aim to determine and assess the suitability of questions related to the determination of ‘learning gain’ which are specifically relevant to an undergraduate student placement, to assess the development of students’, ‘skills, competencies, content knowledge and personal development demonstrated by students at two points in time’, before and after that work placement.

The pilot will also allow us to develop and explore the conceptual ‘learning gain’ model, along with exploring what student, institutional and employer perspectives on what learning from work placements look like currently. This in turn, will help us to advance models of what this will look like in the future.

What the project hopes to achieve

Results from the project would ensure that the learning is captured, shared and subsequently embedded within the University curricula, in a way that would inform continuing developments in this area and enhance the student experience. This would enable all students to benefit, regardless of their subject of study or ability, to engage directly with placement opportunities.

Due to the nature of the work placement/ internship as a concept, learning from the project would be generalisable and transferable across both the University and the wider sector. Specific learning could inform the work of:

  • Careers & Employability Service colleagues
  • Disciple-based programmes that offer work-placements/internships
  • Institutional employability and enterprise strategies

Specific learning will contribute to a more in depth understanding of the value of learning gain through work based learning for current and prospective employers who offer work-placement and internship opportunities.

Further information on the project including details of the ‘learning gain’ concept, the project methodology and the student questionnaires, are available from the HEA Learning Gain Report 2016