Student reflections on the introduction of a work-based approach to the final year John Mathews, Liverpool John Moores University and Kate Heathman, Liverpool John Moores University.
Work-based or work-related learning is a cornerstone of most vocational degrees. Much evaluation of such teaching concentrates on the design and delivery of work-based learning opportunities, but what do the students think? This article describes the introduction of a new workplace simulation approach used to teach final year Journalism and International Journalism students at Liverpool John Moores University. A survey measured undergraduate responses to the ways in which students were directed in their studies as part of a live, seven-day publishing operation. The study reports on how students perceived their levels of confidence, skills, motivation, engagement and employability increased as a direct result of their involvement with the experiential learning programme. The field of research regarding work-based or work-related learning in the delivery of journalism is not extensive in a UK context and this study aims to expand the knowledge base of practical, simulated professional teaching methods at higher education level. More generally the study provides insight into students reactions to ‘authentic’ work-related learning approaches.