Student Work Placement: Friend or Foe? A study of the perceptions of university students on industrial work placement


O'Briain, Sian and Bergin, Susan and Bourgoin, Martina and Mooney, Aidan and Murray, Paula and Zhao, Qingyang (2013) Student Work Placement: Friend or Foe? A study of the perceptions of university students on industrial work placement. In: ICEP (International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy), 6 December 2013, Institute of Technology Sligo.

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Abstract

At the National University of Ireland Maynooth, Computer Science and Software Engineering students are required to undertake an industrial work placement module as part of their course. The work placement is typically six to eighteen months long and takes place in the penultimate year of the degree. This paper evaluates students’ perception of the quality of the learning experience they received through work placement. The voice of many key players involved in the process is captured, including, the students themselves, members of the academic department and the Industrial Work Placement Office; and importantly this paper is authored by representatives of each of these groups. In particular, the paper evaluates the types of preparations students make prior to commencing a placement, the transferable skills acquired and improved during their placement, and student perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of their placement. A mixed data acquisition model is used for gathering data including questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The gathered data is analysed and a critique on the findings is presented. The paper concludes with recommendations and considerations for any institution that is interested in offering an industrial work placement component.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Work placement; Student perceptions; Soft skills; Technical skills;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
Item ID: 5030
Depositing User: CS Editor
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 11:36
Refereed: No
URI:

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