Knowing Me, Knowing You: Humanitas in Work-Integrated Learning During Adversity
Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is a variety of learning opportunities that can extend beyond the application of theory to practice, to include complex situational, personal, material, and organisational factors. Central to forming successful WIL experiences is the partnership, support, and collaboration extended by all key stakeholders. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted WIL experiences, with many developed partnerships and sustained practices being abruptly impacted. In 2020, a multidisciplinary group of Australasian WIL academics, administrators and students joined in weekly virtual coffee chats to share concerns and experiences during this rapidly changing educational landscape. These conversations led to establishing a Small Significant Online Network Group (SSONG) and became the basis for this article. We explored the lessons learned from WIL practitioners to be better informed of the practice of WIL and, generally, to examine the role of collaborations in higher education. Using a collaborative autoethnographic approach, this study incorporated written reflections on WIL experiences during COVID-19 lockdowns, followed by Zoom conversations to gain deeper insights. All data was aggregated and analysed thematically, both inductively and deductively, to interpret the practice experiences of individuals in their socio-cultural contexts. This article intends to demonstrate how creative solutions, such as adopting a HUMANE framework, become valuable paradigms. These enhance and nurture relationships between all WIL stakeholders, to enrich and sustain WIL experiences for all.