This session, presented by Randolph Wimmer from the University of Alberta, was the results of a study into various disciplines' "field experience" (FE). FE includes co-op, internships, work placements, practicums, of varying length and complexity.
This was three year study across several disciplines and their own unique approaches to FE. although there were many different disciplinary contexts, the content of FE was mostly similar. FE was valued most by learners across all programmes. Those that had a FE components in their programmes felt that they received a superior education than those that did not (this bodes well for our approach to work experience, co-op, and Applied Portfolio).
Learners involved in FE felt that hey had more time to reflect on what they were doing - FE added a reflective self-assessment piece to their learning. faculty like working with FE- it enabled them to identify with a profession.
It appears from this study that FE in all of its forms is a value-add to a learner's post secondary experience. This is certainly true with what we are doing at NSCC.