This paper examines the contribution of work-based learning (WBL) to the education of construction students. The research draws on the experiences of part-time students and students on sandwich courses in a School of the Built Environment. The sandwich courses include a year in industry as the penultimate year of a four-year programme. This WBL component constitutes a valuable link between higher education and industry, and provides a mechanism for students to consolidate learning in their final year as well as preparing them to take on responsibility in industry immediately after graduation. The paper also examines the relationship between WBL and institutional learning with a view to determining what academic credit is awarded for and how it is awarded. The authors argue that WBL is an essential component of higher education, and that credit for WBL is desirable in a system that promotes credit accumulation and transfer. There is currently no rational method of awarding credit for work-based learning and this paper proposes that articulations in current frameworks for credit accumulation and transfer schemes for academic learning may provide a substantive and transparent means of attributing academic credit to WBL. They also recommend that such a framework should be developed specifically for work-based learning.
|Journal||Industry & Higher Education|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2004|