New Approaches to the “Dreaded” Work Term Report

Report
New approaches to the “dreaded”
work term report:
Encouraging reflective student
practice
Today’s Goals
• Consider new approaches to promoting reflective practice
amongst our co-op students
• Engage all session attendees in a discussion regarding
best practice regarding work term reports
• Identify potential obstacles to implementing new work
term formats (e.g. staff time; faculty engagement; on-line
resources)
Co-op Professional Development
Projects
UBC Arts Co-op Program
Sheila Ashwell
University of British Columbia
Background
Traditional format
Learning Objectives | Final Report | End-of-Term Evaluation
- Submitted in person, paper format, in portfolio
Challenges:
• Marking load for staff
• Poorly written assignments; lack of interest!
• Repetitive over 3-5 work terms
• Following-up and monitoring labour-intensive
Feedback from Student Survey
• Unsure of purpose of assignments
• Less school-like, more work-based
• Prefer 5 short over 1 large
• Instructions not enough/unclear
• More variety, esp. 8-month terms
Purpose / Current Format
• Help students build work portfolio
• Provide structured career & skill development
opportunities
• 5 key assignments per work term, 1 due each month
Skill Development Projects
Overview
1
Goals & Objectives
Beginning of term
Professional Profile
• Includes discussion board &
archives
• End of 2nd month
Informational Interview
• End of 3rd month
• Within organization or elsewhere
4
Final Activity (select 1)
• Networking
• Public speaking
• Professional business writing
• Career development
• Other (video or other)
5
Professional Review
End-of-term evaluation/exit
interview
2
3
Reflective Seminars and E-Portfolios
New approaches at Mount Saint Vincent
Scott Daniels
Mount Saint Vincent University
Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU)
• Reflective Seminars
• E-portfolios
MSVU – Reflective Seminars
What is mentorship?
“Been there, done that”
MSVU – Reflective Seminars
Senior business and tourism co-op students present a
reflective seminar to new co-op students where they share
their experiences, advice and lessons learned with new
co-op students
MSVU – E-Portfolios
Senior public relations co-op students complete a personal
reflection of their professional experiences and develop an
e-portfolio
MSVU – E-Portfolios
Sample e-portfolio
MSVU – Student Feedback
Surveyed 171 PR students and had a 38% response rate
We asked students to assess the effectiveness of each
project in terms of reflecting on their experiences
MSVU – Student Feedback
Which work term project did you find the most beneficial for
thinking about what you learned during co-op?
• Work term report – 4%
• Portfolio – 58%
• Reflective seminar – 38%
MSVU – Student Feedback
How effective was the work term report in providing an
opportunity to reflect upon what you learned during your
work term?
• Not effective – 47%
• Effective – 45%
• Very effective – 8%
MSVU – Student Feedback
How effective was the portfolio in providing an
opportunity to reflect upon what you learned during your
work term?
• Not effective – 0%
• Effective – 38%
• Very effective – 62%
MSVU – Student Feedback
How effective was the reflective seminar in providing an
opportunity to reflect upon what you learned during your
work term?
• Not effective – 8%
• Effective – 31%
• Very effective – 61%
The Power of the Blog
blog
[blawg, blog]
noun1.a website containing a writer's or group of writers'
own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and
often having images and links to other websites.
Charlene Marion
Bishop’s University
Evaluation Evolution
2013-now
Competency Approach
5 blogs (x 500 words)
2001-2012
Work term Report Options
Competency Approach
8-10 pages
OR
Organizational Analysis
8-10 pages
2012-2013
Work term Report Options
Competency Approach
8-10 pages
OR
Competency Approach
5 blogs (x 500 words)
OR
Organizational Analysis
8-10 pages
Competency Approach
Mobilizing Innovation
& Change
• Ability to
conceptualize
• Creativity/Innovation/
Change
• Risk-taking
• Visioning
Managing People &
Tasks
•
•
•
•
•
Coordinating
Decision-making
Leadership/Influence
Managing conflict
Planning &
organizing
Communicating
•
•
•
•
Interpersonal
Listening
Oral communication
Written
communication
Managing Self
• Learning
• Personal
organization/Time
management
• Personal strengths
• Problemsolving/Analytic
Frederick T. Evers & James C. Rush
The Bases of Competence: Skill Development During the Transition from University to Work
Published in: Management Learning 1996 27:275
Why Change?
blog
[blawg, blog]
noun1.a website containing a writer's or group of writers'
own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and
often having images and links to other websites.
There was just something missing.
Why Change?
• Students` dissatisfaction with the report
• Questioned its relevance
• What were they learning
• Hard to remember everything at the end
• Too long and boring
• My desire to use a modern forum
• Use a platform students are used to
• Less formal and more meaningful and reflective
• Measure progression
• Final report is 1 dimensional
• Blogs allow you to see students` growth over their WT
Results
Co-op Students
Co-op Coordinator
• 97% of students preferred
• View the actual
this method of reporting
• Prefer the 5 smaller works
over time
• Enjoy the less formal writing
style
• Allows them to see their
own progression
• See a sense of
accomplishment
progression
• See them grow as
professionals
• More balanced workload
• Catch problems as they
arise
• Students are more honest
Contact Information
Lisa Barty
Manager, Science Career & Co-operative Education
McMaster University
[email protected]
Scott Daniels
Manager, Co-operative Education
Mount Saint Vincent University
[email protected]
Sheila Ashwell
Associate Director Arts Co-op Program
University of British Columbia
[email protected]
Charlene Marion
Co-operative Education Coordinator
Bishop’s University
[email protected]

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