Understanding the Value of Cooperative Education from the Students’ Perspective

A qualitative study by Ambrose & Poklop (2015) revealed that “co-op employment does, indeed, both extend and supplement the academic curriculum. It extends the curriculum by showing students the value and relevance of knowledge and skills gained in coursework (knowledge-in-action) and providing opportunities for integration and use of knowledge and skills in new and real-world contexts (transfer). Furthermore, it supplements the curriculum by enabling students to gain new knowledge and skills not included in course work (just-in-time learning), thus fostering their ability to become self-directed learners in a work-based environment.”

“Co-op employment does, indeed, both extend and supplement the academic curriculum”

  • Experiential Learning increases students’ motivation, which impacts learning.
  • Experiential Learning facilitates practice and feedback, a necessity to the learning process.
  • Experiential Learning promotes contextual knowledge and transfer of learning, facilitating mastery that leads to deep and flexible learning.
  • Experiential Learning promotes  “just-in-time” learning, through which students become self-directed as they engage in the learning process.