Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

WPL for students

This page provides information to students about what they need to know and do to better understand workplace learning and make the most of these learning experiences that bridge university and work.

What is WPL?

The purpose of workplace learning (WPL) is to prepare you for the world of work and to become a responsible future professional. With WPL, your authentic professional identity development journey is firmly set on the right course. WPL will help you bridge the gap between learning in the classroom and learning in the 'real world'. You will be required to engage with others and the practice context by being there and learning that actions have consequences. WPL involves learning with the head (cognitive), the hands (skills), the heart (affective) and the body (physical/embodied).

If you can learn 'it' from a textbook, it ain't WPL! The nature of work, and of the workplace itself, is changing. Therefore WPL provides many different types of experiences to help meet this challenge. Some examples include work or clinical placements, practicums, projects for real clients, working in community settings, virtual experiences (e.g. e-health situations or reverse classrooms), field work on farms and setting up university companies to develop products to tackle needs of real people.

How to prepare for WPL?

To give yourself the best chance of a successful WPL experience, it is important that you are well prepared. Not only do you need to consider professional conduct and ethical issues and develop a sense of professionalism but you also need to consider the unique workplace cultures of placements, diverse clients' expectations and community priorities that will shape the way you will complete tasks and learn in professional settings. To be well prepared you need to understand the university, industry and community requirements and expectations.

This resource is designed to get you thinking about what support CSU provides and how to make the most of your WPL experiences. It is a complementary resource to materials provided as part of your course's WPL subject. You will find these materials by carefully consulting your Faculty, School and subject guides (e.g. websites, handbooks, manuals etc.). Your subject coordinator and the administrative faculty support team, together with other student services, will assist you to make WPL a rewarding and, we also hope, challenging experience that expands your professional practice horizon.

Using this resource

The photo is a symbolic representation of crossing the divide between university and work. Run your mouse over the planks on the bridge to get essential information, tips and links on the following topics: