Student dignity during work-integrated learning: a qualitative study exploring student and supervisors' perspectives

Corinne Davis, Olivia A King, Allie Clemans, Jan Coles, Paul E S Crampton, Nicky Jacobs, Tui McKeown, Julia Morphet, Kate Seear, Charlotte E Rees

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While University students increasingly participate in work-integrated learning (WIL), their dignity is often violated during WIL. The current literature is limited in so far as it typically focuses on student perspectives within healthcare contexts and does not use the concept of 'dignity'. Instead, this study explored student and supervisor perspectives on student dignity during WIL across healthcare and non-healthcare disciplines. Research questions included: What are: (1) types of student dignity experiences and patterns by groups; (2) factors contributing to experiences; (3) consequences of experiences? Sixty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted using narrative interviewing techniques with 30 supervisors and 46 students from healthcare (medicine, nursing and counselling) and non-healthcare (business, law and education) disciplines. Data were analyzed using framework analysis. Nine common narrative types were identified within 344 stories: verbal abuse, right for learning opportunities, care, inclusion, reasonable expectations, right for appropriate feedback, equality, trust, and right to be informed. Factors contributing to dignity experiences and consequences were often at the individual level (e.g. student/supervisor characteristics). We found some salient differences in perceptions of experiences between students and supervisors, but few differences between healthcare and non-healthcare disciplines. This study extends WIL research based on student perspectives in healthcare, and provides practice and further research guidance to enhance student dignity during WIL.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sept 2019

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