Rewards for 'learningful' work

A VU research paper examining learning in the workplace has won the annual best paper award from the Australian Vocational Education Training and Research Association (AVETRA).

The paper 'Learningful Work' by Geri Pancini from the Work-based Education and Research Centre (WERC) and Dr Rob McCormack from VU College picked up the award at AVETRA's annual conference in Sydney last week.

Their paper explores how work placements can be learning experiences for students, in line with the commitment of VU that 25 per cent of assessment be based on workplace and community placements.

More than 70 papers were presented to 200 participants at this year's conference.

A second award presented at the conference, for best new researcher, went to Regan Harding, who is also associated with WERC. Regan, from the North Coast Institute of TAFE in NSW, wrote a paper called 'Early Days: The experiences of early vocational education and training programs for young Aboriginal learners'. She is a participant in the Building Researcher Capacity Community of Practice project conducted by WERC.

VU Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of TAFE Dr Anne Jones said the awards were an acknowledgement of the leadership VU is providing in research into vocational education and training.

"The trend towards workplace-based learning and assessment in tertiary education in Australia has been taken a step further at VU with our commitment to Learning in the Workplace and Community," Dr Jones said.

"The work of Geri and Rob has been recognised for its value in helping the TAFE sector produce graduates who are job-ready, career-ready and future-ready."

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