Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

This particular presentation formed part of a joint presentation related to a conference paper delivered at the Global Internship Conference 2015 which was held in University College Dublin's O'Reilly Hall on the 11th of June 2015.

The Global Internship Conference is a forum dedicated to advancing the knowledge of academic or structured work placement and experiential education.

The scope of this conference included academics, professionals and researchers who either work in the field or sought to learn more about internships, academic structured work placement, co-operative education, teaching & learning, and volunteering.

As a platform for dialogue and as a vehicle for action/collaboration, the Global Internship Conference brought together colleagues from around the globe to discuss and advance best practices as well as develop and examine a research agenda for global internships.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Internships and Employability: Building a Global Portfolio” The 4-day conference encompassed a wide range of topics and in particular, a number of presentations which successfully leveraged a very useful and comparative approach from an International perspective.

Our particular presentation explored and expounded upon the following themes and topics below:

Research: this joint presentation was informed by participant research while offering original and current results demonstrated by applicable theoretical perspective, mixed methodologies, presentation of evidence and analysis. Examples included the dissemination of student/employer perception studies, the application of learning & teaching development theories, and the analysis of specific learning outcomes across a variety of programmes within the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology (SCAFT).

Best Practice: the presentation examined our own experiential evidence across SCAFT programmes while further assessing examples of best practice in action. Examples include teaching and learning management, academic integration with the world of work, employer/student/institute development, structured work placement operations/implementation and evaluation strategies.

Country/Region: the presentation examined experiential education within the context of a multiplicity of countries/regions. Examples included the impact of various employer expectations, cultural preparation, the myriad of industry specialisms, etc.

Special Topics: the presentation successfully explored current issues or trends in third level structured work placement and experiential education. Examples included the exploration of virtual internships, developing multi-disciplinary programme protocols and standards, incorporating social networks into experiential education, continuing professional development, employability, and the usefulness of the DITs integration of graduate attributes across curricula.


According to a comparative structured work placement (SWP) study conducted in the Dublin Institute of Technology's (DITs) School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology (SCAFT), the international or global SWP experience of third-level learners is primarily and actively supported through a process of interpersonal, social and cultural development (Cullen, 2012).

The adoption or development of applicable work based learning (WBL) models supporting or scaffolding such notions of student/learner development often reflect the educational aims of learner/worker mobility and Life Long Learning strategies in the main. However, and perhaps most importantly, such models need to reflect the value which third-level students' place on their prospective learning through the co-development of clear objectives and effective learner support systems from within the academy.

This presentation focuses on the third-level student's experience through the world of work and those desirable traits or attributes linked to the notion of employability. The main objective will be to illuminate key aspects of a suitable model for learning in working life and the pedagogic scaffolding of the learner-at-work experience.

This presentation also recognizes the importance of critical reflective practice integral to the maintenance of lifelong career management and key skills development, as well as the potential impact of web based technologies which further facilitate and sustain distinct communities of practice.