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EVOLUTION OF THE WORK TERM REPORT Scott Daniels, Mount Saint Vincent University Sonya Horsburgh, Mount Saint Vincent University.

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Presentation on theme: "EVOLUTION OF THE WORK TERM REPORT Scott Daniels, Mount Saint Vincent University Sonya Horsburgh, Mount Saint Vincent University."— Presentation transcript:

1 EVOLUTION OF THE WORK TERM REPORT Scott Daniels, Mount Saint Vincent University Sonya Horsburgh, Mount Saint Vincent University

2 Objectives for today’s session Describe the portfolio and seminar projects Present rationale for providing alternate work term projects Provide the student guidelines and faculty evaluation tools Share project examples

3 What we did Formerly students completed three work term reports –First report was a formal report where students examined the PR function within their workplace and compared it to ideal communication models –Second report was a case analysis where students evaluated a problem, opportunity, campaign or project –Third report was a reflective paper where students reflected on their growth as a co-op student and young professional

4 What we do now First project requires students to examine the PR function within their workplace and compare it to ideal communication models or to evaluate a problem, opportunity or project Second project requires students to prepare a professional portfolio of work samples Third project requires students to present a reflective seminar where they share their experiences, advice and lessons learned with new co-op students

5 Kolb’s experiential learning cycle Bender, CJ., Daniels, P., Lazarus, J., Naude, L., and Sattar, K. (2006). Service-Learning in the Curriculum: A Resource for Higher Education. Pretoria, South Africa: The Council on Higher Learning.

6 Objectives of work term projects According to CAFCE accreditation standards and rationale, the project can: develop and refine skills in project management, conceptualization, research, and communication; expand learning beyond day-to-day confines of the job; add to their portfolio for future employability; and enhance integration with academic program (p.11). CAFCE Accreditation Council. (2006) Review of CAFCE accreditation standards and rationale.

7 Observations Students don’t enjoy writing reports /boredom Last minute efforts Challenges in finding topics and defining the PR function within their particular organization

8 Research Strampel, K. (2004). Changing times: ePortfolios in co-operative education [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Johnston, N., Angelerilli, N. & Gajdamaschko, N. (2004). How to measure complex learning processes: The nature of learning in co-operative education. In P. Linn, A. Howard & E. Miller (Eds.), Handbook for research in co-operative education and internships (pp ). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. MSVU student survey (2010)

9 Katrina Strampel Surveyed 3756 students with a 7.85% response rate She examined: –effort; –purpose/skills; and –knowledge transfer through writing work term reports.

10 In determining effort, students reported that: –77% completed their reports near end of the work term or shortly before it was due; and –54.4% put “some” to “little effort” into writing the report.

11 Looking at skills gained: –69.5% believed they developed their writing skills; and –3% believed they developed their critical thinking and reflective thinking skills.

12 In terms of knowledge transfer: −16% felt the report clarified a concept learned in courses; and −33% used the information learned writing the report in future co-op terms and/or classroom.

13 Johnston, Angerlilli & Gajdamaschko Surveyed students and staff from 6 BC institutions to explore learning through co-op, and differences between stakeholder perceptions

14 They found: “…the negative sorting of statements related to the value of the work report is one of the only consensus responses to emerge across all factors” (p. 181) and it appears that co-op learning practices including the work report are only valued by practitioners

15 MSVU survey Surveyed 171 PR students and had a 38% response rate We asked students to assess the effectiveness of each project in terms of reflecting on their experiences

16 Which work term project did you find the most beneficial for thinking about what you learned during co-op? Work term report – 4% Portfolio – 58% Reflective seminar – 38%

17 How effective was the work term report in providing an opportunity to reflect upon what you learned during your work term? Not effective – 47% Effective – 45% Very effective – 8%

18 How effective was the portfolio project in providing an opportunity to reflect upon what you learned during your work term? Not effective – 0% Effective – 38% Very effective – 62%

19 How effective was the reflective seminar in providing an opportunity to reflect upon what you learned during your work term? Not effective – 8% Effective – 31% Very effective – 61%

20 Benefits from our perspective Improved practices and it responded to student feedback; Aligned with industry trends; Developed mentoring relationships between senior and new co- op students; and Increased opportunity for student reflection.

21 Student feedback The portfolio project was very practical and could then be used in future co-op and post graduation interviews. The reflective seminar was a great opportunity to evaluate the entire co-op experience and to share lessons learned with others. It was also a chance to practice presentation skills.

22 The work term report was a very time consuming, contrived project. It did not serve as a very useful learning tool. The portfolio was a good second project. It came in handy for interviews and just as a basic tool to reflect upon past work. The reflective seminar was by far the most beneficial of the three projects. It was interesting and fun to share personal experiences with students about to embark on their first co-op terms.

23 Faculty feedback “The structure of the MSVU co-op work term projects is in my opinion a very effective way to have the students reflect on their experiences as they progress through the program. Each project challenges the student in a different way, and each demands an awareness of their learning and practical work experience throughout the three years of the program.”

24 “The combination of the three projects helps students to understand the importance of how co-operative education prepares them for a successful career. It’s especially rewarding to see the level of reflection demonstrated in their portfolios and seminars, and the growth in their abilities after each co-op term.”

25 Project guidelines and evaluation tools

26 Portfolio samples

27 Reflective seminar video clip

28 Questions?


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