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Title: The pitfalls of work placement learning: perceptions of mechanical engineering students from a South African university
Authors: Ngonda, Tiyamike 
Shaw, Corrinne 
Kloot, Bruce 
Keywords: Work placement learning;constraining learning environment;work affordances;student experiences;industry mentor
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Source: Ngonda, T., Shaw, C. & Kloot, B. 2022. The pitfalls of work placement learning: perceptions of mechanical engineering students from a South African university. Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, 27(1): 38-46. []
Journal: Australasian Journal of Engineering Education 
Abstract: This article reports on a qualitative multi-case study exploring the challenges mechanical engineering students experience during work placement. The study collected data from 34 purposively selected mechanical engineering students. It found that constraining learning environments, ineffective industry mentors, low quality work affordances and negative student characteristics can compromise students’ work placement learning outcomes. It suggests that the coupling of ineffective mentors and constraining learning environments tends to be associated with low quality work affordances. Industry mentors were considered ineffective if they could not perform the dual role of work supervisors and teachers. It further suggests that some student attributes can also compromise work placement learning outcomes. It found that students who are not proactive or assertive often experience low quality work affordances. To remedy these shortcomings, universities should provide pre-placement training for students and industry mentors in the form of a seminar for industry mentors and simulated work placement for students.
ISSN: 2205-4952
Appears in Collections:Eng - Journal articles (DHET subsidised)

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