CEWIL Webinar Research Series Part 3

October 22, 2020, 1:00 - 2:00 PM



Join us for the third installment in our Research Webinar Series. See below for details.


Towards an Assessment Model of the Impact of International Internships on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Shabnam Ivkovic, University of Waterloo

Norah McRae, University of Waterloo

Dana Church, University of Waterloo


Globally, HEIs are now being measured on their contributions towards advancing the UN’s SDGs. Institutionally, there is growing focus on graduating global citizens who can advocate for and operationalize sustainable futures in their professions. In this paper, we propose an impact assessment model to better understand how international internships might be contributing to the SDGs in deeper, more significant ways. The model has been developed in consultation with community and institutional sustainability expert units whose mandate is to advance the SDGs through policy work, facilitating WIL experiences, and research. Each unit independently applied their own assessment approach, designed and developed based on their expertise, to a curated sample of 78 internships from the Environment Faculty (that, we believe, has a more mature sustainability curriculum) held in 12+ countries across the development spectrum; e.g., Netherlands, China, and India. Each internship was assessed from a number of perspectives, including internship job description, specifics of the project assigned, the intern’s agency within the internship, relevant application of the SDGs’ 169 targets and 232 indicators to current use case, company mandate, company CSRs, etc., and coded into having had an impact on one or more of the 17 SDGs. Of the 78, ~13% were assessed as having made a definite impact on the SDGs. The three approaches applied have been integrated to create one that suits our co-op business case. Future intent is to systematically apply this model to all international internships as a pilot exercise in creating a robust and reliable impact assessment model.


Being: The Heart of Entrepreneurship and Experiential Education

Jean Bibeau, Université de Sherbrooke

Denis Bédard, Université de Sherbrooke

Over the past two decades, entrepreneurship education has accelerated in several countries with the development of numerous training and support programs (Fayolle, Verzat, & Wapshott, 2016). Despite this growth in a variety of academic disciplines and levels (Valerio, Parton, & Robb, 2014), entrepreneurship education faces various challenges (Katz, 2008). According to Fayolle et al., (2016), the main challenge rests on the difficulty of offering training where lessons learned from practice can be enriched by theoretical and methodological elements aimed at developing students’ engagement and critical thinking. Hence, giving meaning to a learning experience in entrepreneurship in an academic context is at the heart of the problem raised by our research. Driven by this challenge, the University of Sherbrooke has offered, since 2015, a distinctive training in entrepreneurship, based on the espace experientiel (E²) pedagogy. Initially developed in the context of entrepreneurial training in management, it has since been implemented in different academic disciplines such as music, engineering, quantum physics, law, education and communication for the betterment of work-integrated learning. While several training tools or methods have mainly focused on skills mastery through the acquisition of knowledge, E² emphasizes on Being, Interacting and Reflecting, focusing more on the individual, his subjectivity and intersubjectivity. The following article first describes this pedagogy by situating it among active pedagogies. Then, the research problem and the context of data collection are stated. Finally, a presentation of the first results of the implementation of E² is made before observations are shared in the discussion and conclusion.


A Mixed-Methods Examination of the Barriers to Kinesiology Students’ Engagement in Work Integrated Learning

Ashley Stirling, University of Toronto

Aalaya Milne, University of Toronto

Ainsley Goldman, University of Toronto


The call for the provision of work integrated learning (WIL) for all students (BHER, 2016), aligns with the broader focus within Canadian higher education for advanced access and accessibility (Jones, 2014).  Access to WIL, however, remains unevenly distributed with specific barriers previously reported for international students (Tran & Soejatminah, 2017), Indigenous students (Gair, Miles, Savage, & Zuchowski, 2015), and students from a background of low socio-economic status (Dunn, Schier, Hiller, & Harding, 2016).  Strategies for advancing inclusion have emphasized the importance of understanding population-specific barriers to engagement (Wall et al., 2017).  The purpose of this study, therefore, was to investigate undergraduate Kinesiology students’ perspectives of the barriers to engaging in an optional unpaid WIL opportunity.  A mixed-methods convergent parallel design was used for this study, and 110 surveys and 17 semi-structured interviews were completed with students.  Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a combination of inductive and deductive coding techniques.  Findings are presented across the themes of perceived value, logistical barriers, workplace barriers, and self-efficacy and self-determination.  Interestingly, of the students not enrolled in WIL, 77% report that they would value the increased knowledge and skills they would gain from completing a placement, 72% report logistical barriers such as timing, finances, transport and support, 77% are concerned about discrimination or harassment in the workplace, and 81% report that being evaluated in the interview process keeps them from applying.  Directions for future research directions are suggested.