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Comprehensive curriculum planning to improve student learning in experiential learning placements
Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) (2009)
  • Ieva Stupans, University of South Australia
  • Susanne Owen, University of South Australia
Universities are increasingly required to complement a focus on student acquisition of specialist knowledge and practical skills, with ensuring that students begin to develop the values, dispositions and identity of their professions. Experiential learning provides opportunities to integrate university-based theoretical and practice elements with real- world experiences involving practising professionals and consumers. Through these opportunities, classroom-based knowledge becomes relevant. Students begin to build their sense of professional identity and reinforce their understanding of the importance of lifelong learning. They can also develop some understanding of their possible role in their profession and as a citizen. While many valuable experiences within experiential learning are unplanned and 'just happen', explicitly defined outcomes and comprehensive planning and scaffolding which link learning and assessment tasks are also essential. Research funded through the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (formerly Carrick) in 2007 regarding pharmacy experiential placements has highlighted the valuing of experiential learning by students, practitioners, professional bodies and academics. However, further integration of university learning within the workplace context through systematic planning and preparation in pre-placement, during placement, and post-placement phases will enhance student learning. This paper is relevant to many health and other professions. It presents a model highlighting curriculum processes for lifelong learning and professional identity-building and involving planned approaches to reflection and action planning for future skill building. [Author abstract]
  • Curriculum development,
  • Experiential learning,
  • Lifelong learning,
  • Models,
  • Pharmaceutical education,
  • Pharmacists,
  • Pharmacy,
  • Practicums,
  • Professional continuing education,
  • Professional education,
  • Professional identity,
  • Reflective practice,
  • Scaffolding (Teaching technique),
  • Skill development,
  • Theory practice relationship,
  • University curriculum,
  • Work experience programs Higher education,
  • Vocational education
Publication Date
July, 2009
Citation Information
Ieva Stupans and Susanne Owen. "Comprehensive curriculum planning to improve student learning in experiential learning placements" Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) (2009)
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