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In-house, University-based work experience versus off-campus, work-experience

FORSYTH, Jacky and COWAP, Lisa (2017) In-house, University-based work experience versus off-campus, work-experience. Higher Education, skills and work-based learning, 7 (3). pp. 229-239. ISSN 2042-3896

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Abstract or description

Purpose: To investigate students’ perceptions of the value, impact, benefits and disadvantages of in-house, University-based work experience versus off-campus, work-experience.
Design/methodology/approach: Three focus groups, one consisting of students who had undertaken work experience off-campus at an employers’ workplace (n=6), one consisting of students who had undertaken work experience in-house with a University-based employer (n=6), and a third mixed group (n=6, consisting of students who had undertaken both types), were formed. Focus group data were supplemented by interviews (n=3). Data were transcribed and analysed thematically.
Findings: Based on student perceptions, both types of work experience were thought to: enhance future employment; provide career insight; enable skill/experience acquisition and application; and be useful for building relationships. Work experience that occurred in-house was, in addition, perceived to: be cost effective; enable students to be more closely supervised and supported; be good for relationship building between and within students/staff; be beneficial for increasing student attainment; and enable students to see the link between theory and practice more clearly. In-house work experience was, however, deemed to be restricted in terms of variety, and links with and perceptions of external stakeholders.
Research limitations/implications: The study is limited in that it is based on the perceptions of students undertaking unique types of integrated work experience within one faculty at one university.
Practical implications: When deciding on whether in-house or off-campus work experiences are offered, consideration should be given to level of support, supervision, observation, and travel and time costs.
Originality/value:Original views of students regarding in-house work experience have been gathered, which can be used to inform in-course workplace practices.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Jacky FORSYTH
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 09:52
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2017 13:44
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3027

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