Publication Details

Dean, B. A. (2019). Observational research in work-integrated learning. International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 20 (4), 375-387.


Observational research has a long history in many disciplines, such as education and organizational studies, yet has had slow uptake in the scholarship of work-integrated learning (WIL). Observational research enables the researcher to journey inside workplace or community sites where actions and conversations unfold, to unpack the complexities of work, learning and practice. This paper looks at observational methodologies and their use in WIL research, highlighting practical methods for accessing and generating data, and discussing criteria for judging the quality of observational research. It introduces WIL researchers to alternative methods to elicit data, to consider making their bodies, thoughts and reflections part of the research itself.