Colloquium on work integrated learning brings theory and practice together
The Faculty of Education and Training on the Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU) recently hosted a work integrated learning (WIL) colloquium on 22 July 2015.
WIL is an educational approach that aligns academic and workplace practices to the mutual benefit of students and workplaces.
The aim is to equip students working in relevant industries with specific in-service training in order to apply theory in practice and involves all the competencies and skills students must acquire. The purpose of the colloquium was to gather ideas from experts within the field of education to improve students’ supervision and evaluation processes.
Various experts from within the field of education with practical as well as theoretical experience attended and reflected their insight regarding the work integrated part of learning. One such person with a vast experience in this field was Dr R J Monobe, Vice Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Venda. In his keynote address he defined the steps and procedures of the teaching practice and explained that WIL is based on the principle that learning should be demonstrated to be appropriate for a qualification and should be assessed wherever it takes place or is provided.
A number of teaching practices such as work-directed theoretical learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning and workplace learning were also discussed. The core activity remains to apply theory to practice to improve the students’ skills and develop student awareness of how learners work as well as provide students with the opportunity of observing and participating in the teaching environment.