Design And Evaluation Of A Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Initiative In An Accounting Information Systems Course.

Ravi Seethamraju, The University of Sydney


Incorporating work integrated learning (WIL) into business curriculum has now become a common way of improving university graduate employability. This paper reports on the evaluation of the design and delivery of a WIL initiative in an Australian business school. It presents a brief review of the literature and discusses a WIL initiative that involves an applied group project. After equipped with the concepts of accounting information system design and accounting software tools, students as a group were expected to investigate real life business organizations’ accounting system needs and suggest improvements. Based on feedback collected from students and employers, this study confirms the benefits of WIL identified in the literature. This WIL project has contributed to better workplace understanding, improved pedagogical effectiveness and overall improvement in the generic graduate attributes and skills. Further it has given valuable opportunity to students to learn and apply two leading accounting software solutions to a real-life business organization. General lack of basic accounting and accounting information systems’ knowledge, inadequate communication and software skills, and the project administration are the challenges observed. Employers, though have noted the potential benefits and appreciated the initiative, they have suggested improvements in the preparation of some of the students in terms of their accounting and information systems knowledge and communication skills. Recognizing the significant proportion of international students with non-English speaking background, lack of business understanding of most of the students, it is decided to offer this opportunity in future to selected few students. This will not only assist the university business school in maintaining its brand reputation, but will also help in achieving effective learning outcomes and meeting employer requirements.