worldGlobal Perspectives in Work-Integrated Learning

Foundation Module: Theoretical Background and Models

This module provides practitioners the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the relationship between WIL and learning theory; and how theory informs WIL from a global perspective.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe experiential learning theory and how it informs work-integrated learning (WIL) theory
  2. Appreciate the global perspective of WIL by describing different practices and models of WIL used around the world
  3. Apply experiential learning theory to a WIL challenge and/or actual WIL context


Fenwick, T.J. (2000). Expanding conceptions of experiential learning: a review of the five contemporary perspectives on cognition. Adult Education Quarterly. 50, 243-272.

Eames, C., & Cates, C. (2011). Theories of learning in cooperative education and work-integrated learning. In R.K. Coll & K.E. Zegwaard (Eds.). International handbook for cooperative education and work-integrated learning: International perspectives of Theory, Research and Practice 2nd Ed (pp. 37‐47). Lowell, MA: World Association for Cooperative Education.

Winchester-Seeto, T., McLachlan, K., Rowe, A., Solominides, I., & Williamson, K. (2017). Transformational learning – possibilities, theories, questions and challenges. In J. Sachs & L. Clark (Eds.), Learning through community engagement: Vision and practice in higher education (pp. 99-114). doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-0999-0_7

Participants will also identify other readings to use in conjunction with the above.


During the module there will be an on-line webinar and other forms of communication.

  1. Students will prepare for the webinar by completing readings and prepare a description of the models of WIL they are currently involved with and the predominant experiential learning perspective that pertains to their models (e.g. constructivist, critical-cultural, psychoanaltytical, situative, enactivist – Fenwick, 2000). (Approx 5 hours)
  2. Students will choose readings that apply to their models from two – three theorists from the perspective of experiential learning. Upon completing their readings, students will prepare findings about what it means to create a learning environment as a facilitator in their programs based on their chosen theoretical perspective. (Approx 5 hours)
  3. Students will participate in two webinars: an introductory webinar and a webinar where they will present their findings, identify for discussion a challenge faced by their model of WIL within the perspective identified in Activity Two. (Approx 5 hours)

Participation time:

Expected total participation time 15 – 20 hours – including preparation and participation in online tasks/activities.

Certificate of completion:

On completion of the module, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion. This will be awarded to participants who complete all the required tasks/activities.