Christopher Jones
Western Sydney University

Rosemary Nicholson, Western Sydney University
Max Ashcroft-Smith, Western Sydney University
Lilly-Rose Saliba, Western Sydney University
Jessy Abraham, Western Sydney University
Omar Mubin, Western Sydney University
Karen Yevenes, Western Sydney University
John Bidewell, Western Sydney University
Margaret Moussa, Western Sydney University
David Arness, Western Sydney University
James Berry, Western Sydney University
Ali Hellany, Western Sydney University
Mariam Darestani, Western Sydney University

Theme: Innovative, scalable and sustainable WIL

Rapid changes to the world of work means new university graduates will enter career paths that are unlikely to be linear, and students therefore require a diverse set of skills to maintain employability. One way to develop these skills is to move beyond a discipline and engage students in a transdisciplinary curriculum that introduces opportunities to ‘creatively…transform and apply knowledge and skills across multiple disciplinary contexts’ (Barrie, 2020). Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is ideally placed as the pedagogical tool to allow students to do this. While WIL is often framed in a disciplinary context, multidisciplinary activities can allow students to develop key future work skills (Piggott, 2020). To give all students the opportunity to learn skills outside their discipline we developed two transdisciplinary minors with a STEM theme, but utilising subjects from different disciplines. We then examined how WIL was developed across the individual subjects. Through analysis of subject learning materials and focused interviews with subject coordinators we mapped WIL activities occurring in each subject to a recently developed WIL activity rubric (Jones, 2019). We found that similar WIL activities occurred across the different subjects, even though they were framed in different contexts. Mapping across each minor allowed us to identify gaps where we could utilise industry partners to enhance and broaden WIL activities. By identifying WIL activities occurring in the minors and then making them explicit to students we have unlocked the potential of WIL to allow students to apply their knowledge in diverse disciplinary contexts.