Baseline survey of current experiential learning practice in Australian and New Zealand planning schools
Slade, C and Harwood, A and Baldwin, C and Rosier, J, Baseline survey of current experiential learning practice in Australian and New Zealand planning schools, Australian Planner, 52, (2) pp. 103-113. ISSN 0729-3682 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Experiential Learning (EL) activities within higher education planning programmes provide opportunities for students to learn workplace skills and knowledge within ‘real-world’ contexts. Despite the documented theoretical benefits of EL there is a lack of information on current EL practice in tertiary institutions. Researchers undertook a baseline survey of current EL activities and associated assessment practices used in accredited university planning schools in Australia and New Zealand. Survey responses were received from 18 universities, with 15 out of 23 accredited planning programmes in Australian universities and 3 out of 4 equivalent planning programmes in New Zealand universities. The survey results suggest that some planning programmes are using EL activities to a greater extent than others and there is a diverse understanding and inconsistent vocabulary associated with EL activities. While having a guest speaker was the most used EL activity less than half were linked to assessment. By comparison, other EL activities, such as work experience, always had an assessment component. The survey provided a foundational understanding of current EL practice to inform a larger multi-university research project Experiential Learning in Planning Education (see www.usc.edu.au/explearning) which aims to develop a consistent approach to EL and resource materials for tertiary planning education.