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Evaluating students' perspective of the value of work placements and simulation-based learning as assets for vocational higher education

Loke, Jennifer; Willmot, Peter


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Dr Jennifer Loke
Lecturer / Programme Director (Dual Award in BSc in Nursing Science)

Peter Willmot


Abstract The challenges confronting students in higher education in today’s competitive environments have highlighted the importance for graduating students to feel competent and prepared for practice. In vocational disciplines such as nursing and engineering, the significance of student work placement experience together with other elements of ‘real-world’ practice built into the courses are especially crucial in terms of achieving readiness of the new graduates for employment. This paper is based on the authors’ experiences in two separate scholarship funded international projects beyond the context of the United Kingdom in nursing and engineering. The aim of the paper is to explain the significance of the nature and quality of student work placements and simulation-based learning as on-course practical activities in the two disciplines, demonstrating how the innovative implementation of active learning methods affect student motivation. Using student focus group discussion, the first author collected data in Singapore in the period between July 2012 and October 2013; and the second author collected data in Australia, North America and Continental Europe from September 2012 to January 2013. Work placements, albeit in different parts of the world and in very different disciplines; health and engineering, are regarded as important by students as a vital platform for linking theory to practice. While work placement environments are important for developing students’ confidence and organisational skills and hence motivation to learn, effective learning occurred best when they were complemented by appropriate on course pedagogies, and placements were supervised by individuals with good disciplinary knowledge and at the same time, proficient pedagogic skills to guide students


Loke, J., & Willmot, P. Evaluating students' perspective of the value of work placements and simulation-based learning as assets for vocational higher education.

Deposit Date Jun 20, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 3, 2023
Journal ICERI2013 proceedings
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
ISBN 9788461638475
Keywords Engineering, Clinical supervision, Formative feedback, Nursing, Simulation-based learning, Student motivation, Work and clinical placements
Public URL
Publisher URL The published chapter is available at


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