Learning motivations and placement experience in HE

Dr James Gavin from the Department of Sport and Physical Activity delivered a CEL workshop today focusing on placement experience and the learning motivations of students.
Based upon James’ recent paper, the workshop provided some useful insights into the changing learning motivations of students studying undergraduate degrees with (practice-based), and without (study-based) work placements. In particular, the research found work placements can motivate students by: contextualising learning (fostering the theory-experience link); raising career awareness (understanding the job market/degree transferability); promoting self-reflection and providing a career starting point.
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The workshop was attended by Placement Development Advisors (PDAs) from the Faculty of Management and colleagues from the Department of Sport and Physical Activity.
An interesting discussion developed with the PDAs sharing a variety of student placement experiences and the impact these had on students’ approaches to their final year of study. Further, the PDAs were able to share ‘insider’ knowledge regarding employers’ perceptions and attitudes towards student placement opportunities, their expectations and the extent to which these could impact on the students’ overall workplace experience.
We all felt it was ‘good to talk’ and in the light of James’ research, consider how we could further prepare our students for the world of work and bring their learning to life in the classroom.
If you would like further information about the study, the link to James’ paper is here:

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