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Win-Win-Win: Reflections from a Work-Integrated Learning Project in a Non-Profit Organization

Dale C MacKrell
IISIT , Volume 13 , 2016
This paper reports on the educational aspects of an information systems work-integrated learning (WIL) capstone project for an organization which operates to alleviate homelessness in the Australian non-profit sector. The methodology adopted for the study is Action Design Research (ADR) which draws on action research and design research as a means for framing a project's progress. Reflective insights by the project stakeholders, namely, students, academics, and the non-profit client, reveal a curriculum at work through internal features of the organization; personal features of the participants and features of the external environment. Preliminary findings suggest that students in a WIL project for a non-profit are highly engaged, especially when they become aware of the project’s social value. As well, the improvement of professional skills and emotional intelligence by students is more likely in real-life practice settings than in other less authentic WIL activities, equipping graduates for the workforce with both strong disciplinary and generic skills. Win-win-win synergies through project collaboration represent worthwhile outcomes to education, industry and research.
Work-integrated learning, workplace learning, non-profit, reflection, engagement, IT

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