Student voice in work integrated learning scholarship: a review of teacher education and geographical sciences

Kate Thomson, Robyn da Silva, peter draper, Anne Gilmore, Niall Majury, Kevin O'Connor, Anete Vasquez, Jacqueline Waite

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Work integrated learning is an umbrella term that refers to the opportunities provided to university students to integrate knowledge of theory and practice as part of their degree program. As the role of students in higher education is evolving, we sought to develop our understanding of the role of students in the work integrated learning (WIL) space through exploring current literature on student voice. In this paper, we consider what has been reported about WIL in relation to student voice, how it has been represented, and how this has influenced practice. We undertook a systematic literature review for two different disciplines, one which represented an example of a professionally accredited undergraduate degree program (teacher education), and the other an example of a program with no professional accreditation (geographical sciences). The teacher education literature demonstrated more clearly the use of student voice to inform WIL within curriculum design. However, the geographical sciences literature did include examples of student voice being incorporated within the design of collaborative community-based forms of WIL. A role for students as researchers, who lead research and initiate curriculum change into WIL, was noticeably absent in both disciplinary sets of literature. The lack of evidence of the inclusion of students in the design, conduct, and analysis of WIL provides an invitation for SoTL scholars to redefine the role of students in this space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13, 1-6
Number of pages19
JournalTeaching and Learning Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Dr. Kate Thomson is a lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. Kate led her co-authors through a collaborative writing process to develop this paper.

Robyn da Silva is an undergraduate psychology honours student at Flinders University, Australia.

Dr. Peter Draper teaches nursing as the University of Hull, UK. Peter is a UK National Teaching Fellow.

Dr. Anne Gilmore is currently a consultant in heritage and historical research, prior to this was as the Academic policy and development consultant for the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Dr. Niall Majury is a lecturer in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast. An economic geographer, he has published on the development of on-screen trading technologies, the governance of global financial markets, and the cultural economy of homeownership.

Dr. Kevin O’Connor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Mount Royal University, Canada.

Dr. Anete Vásquez is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. She teaches courses in English education and research.

Dr. Jacqueline Waite is a post-doctoral fellow and practicing geographer currently hosted by the US Environmental Protection Agency through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education’s (ORISE) research participation program


  • student voice, work integrated learning, teacher education, geographical sciences, students as researchers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • General
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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