Higher education is often divided into discipline-oriented and professional programs. While work placements are common in the professional programs, they are less common in discipline-oriented programs. We now offer a course in the disciplinary program in biology at the University of Bergen where students work 140 hours as biologist with a work placement host. In this newly published paper, we present and discuss the development and implementation of the work placement course.
The course was developed to provide students with practical- and work- related competences, to inform about opportunities for future career and to foster motivation and learning. We have revised the course according to feedback from students, workplace hosts and our experience as course teachers during the six semesters the course has been running. In addition to the work placement, the students blog about their experiences, write a reflection essay and give an oral presentation. The course teachers also meet with the students and convey information on the roles of biology and biologists in today’s society through a Facebook group.
Feedback from the students and hosts point to a range of benefits from work practice in discipline-oriented study programs.
Velle et al. (2017). Developing work placements in a disciple-oriented education. Nordic Journal of STEM Education, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2017), pp 287-306.