A survey of 400 Australian university students has found that most prefer small group learning as a way to maximise employability post their practical work experience.

The students from six universities (Griffith, Notre Dame, Newcastle, Monash, Tasmania and Flinders), and different health care disciplines, were surveyed as part of a three-year Griffith University Office of Learning and Teaching grant which aims to improve students’ learning post work experience via educational interventions.

Stephen Billett

Project leader Professor Stephen Billett (pictured), from Griffith University’s School of Education & Professional Studies, says the students were motivated to optimise the educational potential of their work experiences, but for diverse reasons.

“There is an expectation that their teachers or supervisors will play a role by engaging them in activities after their practicum, providing advice and feedback on performance progress,’’ he said.

“Most importantly, they want interventions that lead to tangible outcomes related to their ability to practice. And they prefer these interventions occur after every practicum.”

Post-practicum interventions included one-on-one with teacher or peers, self-managed groups (3 to 6 peers) across the course, small groups facilitated by more experienced students, small groups facilitated by teachers/tutors, shared classroom-based group activities and whole class activities.

“These students reported using the interventions post practium for learning more about their particular occupation, their workplace performance and what can assist them to being employable.”

The disciplines surveyed were: nursing, medicine, midwifery, dietetics, physiotherapy, pharmacy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, education, exercise science and social work.