Model Development

Like the DOT Model or other models developed by several authors to guide student learning, we are currently developing a model for effective work placement learning that higher education institutions can adopt. After completing the model, it can be used in two different ways:
1. As a descriptive theory to learn how students can achieve quality learning outcomes during work placement learning.

2. A theoretical model for testing hypotheses in work placement learning context and related studies.

To achieve this goal, I have collaborated with many authors to investigate research issues in work placement learning and the outcomes. For example, in the study recently published by the Higher Education Research and Development in 2021, we investigated how work placement learning might influence student engagement in practical skills acquisition. the study drew on the major key elements of three theories: the social cognitive career theory (self-efficacy), self-determination theory (intrinsic motivation) and expectancy-value theory (task value) to understand the mechanisms through which work placement learning and student engagement in practical skills acquisition relationship might exist. Using cross-sectional data from 326 university undergraduate students who had completed the work placement programme, we analyzed the relationship as well as the multiple mediation effects of learning self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation and task value. The results of the regression analysis showed a positive relationship between work placement learning and student engagement in practical skills acquisition, learning self-efficacy and task value. You can read the full paper following the link. Thus, I am considering the role of self-efficacy in developing the proposed work placement learning model.

In another recent study published by the Journal of Career Development, we tested how support students receive from faculty supervisors assigned to them during work placement learning to enhance their proactive career behaviours. Also, we tested the mediating role of work placement learning self-efficacy and the moderating effect of proactivity in the indirect relationships. We collected data from 275 university undergraduate students undertaking placement learning in 129 firms in Nigeria for the study. The regression analysis revealed that the perceived support from work placement learning supervisors associated positively with all constructs of proactive career behaviours namely: career planning, proactive skills development, career consultation and career network building, as well as work placement learning self-efficacy. Also, work placement learning self-efficacy mediated the relationships. Proactivity moderated the relationship between work placement learning self-efficacy and career planning and career network building, and the indirect effects of support on career planning and career network building via work placement learning self-efficacy were significant at low, average and high levels. This research points to the important role of faculty supervisor support that students may likely require during work placement learning given that the faculty supervisors are the salient models for the students. Thus, I am considering the importance of support in developing the work placement learning model.

Recently, I co-published two studies by Industry and Higher Education, and the International Journal of Management Education where we argued that even though that work placement learning focuses on skills development for future jobs, students who had undertaken work placement learning in business organizations/firms may likely develop entrepreneurial intentions and also engage in self-employment preparatory behaviours. In the first study, self-efficacy played an important role, whereas, in the other study, creativity and passion played important roles as a mediator and a moderator. Thus, I will be considering these important variables in the process of developing an effective work placement learning model for higher education institutions to adopt.

Lastly, we investigated the faculty-based supervisor informational support, parental instrumental support and classmate emotional support on student career certainty during work placement learning – a study published by the Journal of Career Assessment. Also, it examined the mediating effects of self-esteem and career decision self-efficacy in the relationships. We used data collected at three-time points from undergraduate students undertaking work placement learning to test a theory-driven model of contextual factors (i.e., supports), core social cognitive career theory variable (self-efficacy), personality-related variable (i.e., self-esteem) and career-related action (i.e., student career certainty) in work placement learning context. The results suggested that perceiving higher informational and instrumental support from faculty-based supervisors and parents stimulated students’ career decision self-efficacy and self-esteem in learning career-related skills, consequently leading to higher student career certainty. Thus, one can see the important role of support, and self-efficacy in ensuring quality work placement learning outcomes.

The proposed work placement learning model will set out to explain how students can achieve the best during work placement learning