Assessing Co-operative & Work-integrated Education: Models, Methods, & Metrics
(Moderator, Dr DiNardo, Drexel; Bach, Drexel; Fondacarro, Waterloo; Hilpert, Reutlingen)
Drexel ties Co-op learning outcomes to overall institutional learning outcomes. They consider the learning that comes from application of the curriculum in meaningful situations. Internally, they look for means and ways to inform curricular improvements. By working with employers and collaborating on reinforcing for students whey Learning Objectives are important, they can drive the learning that is desired and that may continue from the perspective of life-long learning.
Drexel Core Intellectual and Practical Skills, which number approx. 6, are common and overlap with Faculty, Students, and Employers...Communications, Ethical Reasoning, and Creative and Critical Thinking.
At Waterloo, they're looking at Employer Evaluations of Work-terms as indications of learning. There is a strong focus on assessing competencies (OCAVP...UDLES). As well, the CEAB has 12 requirements for engineers. The independance of the employer in providing the feedback on the learning outcomes makes this more valid. They've subjectively grouped things into six characteristics of life-long learning, communications, professionalism, teamwork, etc. There seems to be a very slight trending upwards through work-terms, in terms of progression. They used "word mapping" to assess the qualitative responses.
ESB (Reutlingen) has joint-degree arrangements with many other institutions around the world,
conducting studies in two countries. There are two practika, Sem. 3 and 6 (diff countries). There is a voluntary internship in the 2nd summer, after the 4th semester. Most students acquire, at minimum, two languages. 20 to 28 weeks is the duration, with compensation from 400 to 2500 Euros.
There are two prep classes before each WT and grades are ultimately assigned on the WTR (with verbal presentation to prof and students) and a submitted "employment reference letter".
There is a strong demand by employers for these students, so now the students are evaluating the employers. Employers can be delisted if they fail to keep up their scores with the students. There is absolutely no sharing of this information with the students or the employers. If there are issues, the faculty address the concerns with the employer. They have given some thought to providing awards to those employers who perform well. This would be a public act and would obviously influence the other stakeholders.