Consider Work-integrated Learning Models

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is defined by Cooperative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada as “a model and process of curricular experiential education which formally and intentionally integrates a student’s academic studies within a workplace or practice setting.

WIL experiences include an engaged partnership of at least: an academic institution, a host organization and a student. WIL can occur at the course or program level and includes the development of learning outcomes related to employability, personal agency and life-long learning” (para. 1).

The following are types of work-integrated learning:

  • Applied research projects
  • Apprenticeship
  • Co-operative education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Field placement
  • Internships
  • Mandatory professional practicum/Clinical placement
  • Service learning
  • Work experience

This guide from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is a comprehensive guide to optimizing student learning and development through structured work experience. The guide begins with an overview of Kolb’s experiential learning theory, then describes best practices for effective WIL programming. It also defines key terminology and provides sample tools, activities and success stories.

Cooperative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (n.d.). What is WIL? Retrieved from the CEWIL website:


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