Analyzing Work-integrated Learning assessment practices through the lens of autonomy principles

17 Jul 2017

There is generally an increasing interest in the vocational aspects of higher education, including work integrated learning. Yet there is often an assumption that students will make connections between these two sites, but this is often not the case; connecting university knowledge and practices to those of working life thus remains a vexing problem. In this research article, we examine this connectivity with a focus on work-integrated learning (WIL) assessment as this may highlight what lecturers judge as important knowledge. The lens for examining assessment is that of the Legitimation Code Theory concept of Autonomy codes. Whereas we find that work and university practices and knowledge may be quite well connected, our theoretical lens reveals an unexpected outlying field that may be less well connected to disciplinary knowledge: that of writing and presentation practices judged as valuable by the lecturers. The paper suggests that the integration of the two fields, general writing and presentation and disciplinary knowledge and practices, may be improved for the purposes of strengthening student learning.