Work integrated learning

Research Overview

The research of the work integrated learning (WIL) group addresses i) how to best prepare health professional students for the complexities of workplace learning and practice, ii) how to best design workplace-based learning and teaching experiences, and iii) the role of clinical supervisors in the workplace, including how to optimise educational capacities alongside clinical responsibilities.

Work integrated learning is a growing field of study, and our research seeks to better support students’ learning within the clinical workplace. Authentic activities and assessments that encourage individuals to be learners rather than students have been shown to be more effective, and need to be embedded day one, year one, and reinforced across the years of professional programs.

Some of the hallmarks of workplace learning in healthcare include the high stakes nature of practice, the lack of predictability/control of learning experiences, and the tension between service delivery and support of students’ learning. In our research programs we have explored how designing activities in the workplace can accelerate learning and professional identity development, and how we might better prepare learners to engage in these contextually-bound opportunities to meet the needs of regulators, health services, universities, postgraduate training colleges and the community.

Within the WIL research portfolio, we have investigated the bi-directional benefits of medical student placements (sites of learning and contribution, funded by MDANZ), how learners and supervisors across the health professions engage in feedback conversations (multiple PhD projects and a project funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching 2016-18), the role of video-based group-reflection in developing education skills of General Practice Supervisors (Funded by the RACGP), and a framework for WIL “Good WIL Hunting” across the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (Faculty Seeding Grant). A recent research project includes a comparison of workplace training (insitu and simulation-based) in commercial aviation and medical education (2018).

The WIL research portfolio is influenced by the work of the WIL Research Committee with membership from student leads and active educational researchers in the Clinical Schools (The Austin, Epworth, Northern Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Shepparton-Rural Clinical School, St Vincent’s Hospital, Western Health). We also have representatives from the DME on the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) Education and Training Committee, with a mission statement to improve workplace learning and interprofessional practice across hospital networks in Victoria. The WIL group is committed to quality research in work integrated learning to improve health service delivery and patient care.

Key programs of research within the WIL group include:

  1. Workplace learning: simulation-based and authentic workplace based activities across the trajectory from pre-service learners to experienced practitioners engaged in lifelong learning
  2. Interprofessional education and practice: learning with, from and about each profession in the context of healthcare work
  3. Faculty development of clinical educators: supporting workplace-based educators
  4. Feedback literacy in the workplace: maximising learners’ engagement with feedback information in the workplace

Student Projects:
Developing and testing a feedback quality instrument for the health workplace PhD C. Johnson
Understanding workplace-based assessment in anaesthesia training PhD
D. Castanelli
A pedagogy of fallibility PhD J. Harrison
Exploring professional identity in medical students PhD J. Waring
How do teachers promote self-regulated learning? PhD J. Russell
Examining a workplace learning culture in rural health service settings PhD K. Bolte
Improving interprofessional feedback practices in pharmacy and medicine J.Turkington MPhil
Using clinical decision support systems to improve decision making and problem solving skills in clinical medical students. PhD  Piyapong Khumrin

Peer observation of feedback in a paediatric context EXCITE Masters J. Harrison
Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice: exploring the theory practice gap EXCITE Masters E. Riglar
Exploring the gap between student-reported confidence and expert-rated competence for veterinary anaesthesia skills EXCITE Masters J. Carter
Interns and supervisors perceptions of the current intern performance appraisal and feedback practices EXCITE Masters Jay Jasveer

Available Projects:
Please contact the group lead, Professor Elizabeth Molloy


Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Molloy
Dr Charlotte Denniston
Associate Professor Robyn Woodward-Kron
Associate Professor Clare Delany, Director of Research Training
Associate Professor Agnes Dodds
Associate Professor Anna Ryan
Dr Leonie Griffiths
Professor Richard O’Brien
Associate Professor Stephen Lew
Dr Mark Lavercombe
Dr Terry Judd


Gold Coast University Hospital
School of Medicine, Otago University
School of Nursing and Midwifery, the University of Melbourne
School of Health Sciences, the University of Melbourne
Department of Rural Health, the University of Melbourne
CRADLE Group, Deakin University
MCCC General Practice Regional Training Organisation
Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand
Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery
QANTAS and Jetstar Group
Medical Education, University of Western Sydney
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Monash University
Education Faculty, Griffith University
Western Health
College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM)
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
General Practice Education and Training (GEPT)
Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University
School of Health Sciences, RMIT University
Faculty of Science & Engineering, Macquarie University
School of Health Professions, Murdoch University
School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne


Australian Office of Learning and Teaching
Henderson M, Phillips M, Molloy E, Boud D (2016-2018): 'Feedback for learning: closing the assessment loop.' Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT)

Noble C, Molloy E, Billet S et al (2016) “Improving learner feedback literacy across the health professions” as part of wider project Billet S, Sweet L, Newton J, Molloy E et al (2015) 'Augmenting students' learning for employability through post-practicum educational processes'. Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT)

Dawson P, Bearman M, Molloy E, Boud D, Joughin G, Bennett S (2012): 'Improving assessment: understanding educational decision-making in practice'. Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT)

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
Howard D, Clement T, Silverman J, Molloy E, Lyon E (2018-2019)“Video-clubs as a professional development activity for GP-supervisors: how do they support supervisors' teaching practice?” The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Education Research Grant

Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand
Molloy E, Lew S, Woodward-Kron R, Delany C, Dodds A, Lavercombe M (2017): Medical student clinical placements as sites of learning and contribution.

Australian New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
Castanelli D, Bearman M, Weller J, Molloy E (2017-2019), ‘The role of trust in workplace assessments in anaesthesia training’

University of Melbourne
Denniston C, Molloy E, Griffiths L (2018). Good WIL Hunting: Development of a framework to optimise work integrated leaning across the health professions. University of Melbourne, Faculty MDHS Learning and Teaching Initiative Seed Grant

Molloy E, Ryan A, Baik C, Russell J.. (2017). Promoting self-regulated learning. University of Melbourne Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant.

Cham K, Molloy E, Clements T, Mathew T, Kefalianos E, Denniston C (2017). Building towards a collaborative interprofessional curriculum: identifying professionalism dilemmas and lapses in medicine, nursing and allied health professional education. University of Melbourne, Faculty MDHS Learning and Teaching Seed Grant

Monroxe L, Bullock, A and Delany, C Building a resilient workforce: exploring the relationship between professional identity, burnout and stress in emergency medicine physicians. Chang Gung Medical Education Research Centre , Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan

Stakeholder Funded Research
Ryan A, Vindigni D, Vitiello A, Giuriato R, Walker B. Chiropractic student views and experiences of professionalism.  Funding contributions from Chiropractors Association of Australia, Chiropractic Australia, RMIT University, Central Queensland University and Macquarie University. $11,748.75.

Research Outcomes

Some examples of multimedia and learning resources from the WIL group


* Feedbackforlearning is an evidence-informed online feedback for learning framework ( This resource includes a definition of feedback, a framework for design of effective feedback, case studies of ‘good practice’ and annotated slide set (for teachers to use in their own contexts) on how to improve feedback practices.

* Developed by Dawson, Bearman, Molloy, Boud, Joughin and Bennett S (2012, OLT) We developed an online framework for 'Improving assessment: understanding educational decision-making in practice' with provocations for educators and illustrative case studies of assessment designs across disciplines.

Research Publications

  1. Brown J, Bearman M, Colville D, Kirby C, Molloy E, Nestel D (2018) Theory, a lost character? As presented in General Practice education research papers. Medical Education (accepted Nov 2018).
  2. Molloy E, Bearman M (2018). Intellectual candour: Balancing the tension between vulnerability and credibility Medical Education DOI 10.1111/medu.13649
  3. Noble, C., Sly, C., Collier, L., Armit, L., Hilder, J., & Molloy, E. (2018). Enhancing feedback literacy in the workplace:  a learner-centred approach. In S. Billett, J. M. Newton, G. Rogers, & C. Noble (Eds.), Augmenting health and social care students’ clinical learning experiences:  Outcomes and processes. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
  4. Harrison J, Molloy E, Leech M, Bearman M (2018) The CPEGS in final year medical student clinical education. In S. Bilett, J. M. Newton, G. Rogers, & C. Noble (Eds.), Augmenting health and social care students’ clinical learning experiences:  Outcomes and processes. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
  5. Delany C and Molloy E (eds) (2018) Learning and Teaching in Clinical Contexts. Elsevier, Sydney.
  6. Molloy E and Van de Ridder M (2018) Reworking feedback to build better work. Ch 21 in Delany C and Molloy E (2018) Learning and Teaching in Clinical Contexts. Elsevier, Sydney.
  7. Delany C and Molloy E (2018) Becoming a Clinical Educator. Ch 1 in Learning and Teaching in Clinical Contexts. Elsevier, Sydney.
  8. Molloy E and Delany C (2018): Designing and Becoming in Clinical Education Ch 24 in Learning and Teaching in Clinical Contexts. Elsevier, Sydney.
  9. Bearman M, Castanelli D and Denniston C. (2018) Working with underperformance. Ch 16 in Delany C and Molloy E (2018) Learning and Teaching in Clinical Contexts. Elsevier, Sydney.
  10. Dawson P, Boud D, Henderson M, Phillips M, Molloy E, Ryan T (2018): What makes for effective feedback: staff and student perspectives. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2018.1467877 .
  11. Molloy E & Denniston C. (2018) The role of feedback in surgical education. Chapter 19 In D. Nestel, K. Dalrymple, J. Paige & R Aggarwhal (Eds.). Advancing surgical education: theory, evidence and practice; Springer.
  12. Johnson C and Molloy E (2018) Invitations for learner evaluative judgement in verbal feedback sessions, in Boud, Ajjawi, Tai and Dawson (2018) Evaluative Judgement. Routledge.
  13. Dawson P, Henderson M, Boud D, Ryan T, Mahoney P, Phillips M, Molloy E (2018) Technology and Feedback Design for Learning. Education Handbook (US). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17727-4_124-1
  14. Bearman M, Tai J, Edouard V, Kent F, Nestel D, Molloy E (2018): What should we teach the teachers? Identifying the learning priorities of clinical supervisors. Advances in Health Sciences Education DOI:10.1007/s10459-017-9772-3
  15. Bearman M and Molloy E (2017): Intellectual streaking: the value of teachers exposing minds (and hearts). Medical Teacher. DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2017.1308475
  16. Ajjawi R, Molloy E, Bearman M, Rees C (2017) Contextual influences on feedback practices: an ecological perspective, in Carless D (2017) Scaling up Assessment in Higher Education, Carless D, Bridges S, Chan C, Glofcheski R (eds) Singapore. Springer Vol 5: p. 129-143.
  17. Allen L, Molloy E (2017): The influence of a preceptor-student ‘Daily Feedback Tool’ on clinical feedback practices in nursing education: A qualitative study. Nurse Education Today: 49: 57–62.
  18. Tai J, Haines T, Canny B, Molloy E (2017): Implementing Peer Learning in Clinical Education: A Framework to Address Challenges In the “Real World” Teaching and Learning in Medicine: 29 (2) p1-11
  19. Sevenhuysen, S., Thorpe, J., Barker, L.A., Keating, J., Molloy, E. and Haines, T. (2017). Education in peer learning for allied health clinical educators: A mixed methods study. Focus on Health Professional Education, 18 (2): 4-18. DOI:
  20. Sevenhuysen, S., Haines, T., Kiegaldie, D. and Molloy, E. (2016). Implementing collaborative and peer-assisted learning. The Clinical Teacher. 13 (5): 325-331. DOI 10.1111/tct.12583
  21. Boud D, Dawson P, Bearman M, Bennett S, Joughin G and Molloy E (2016): Reframing assessment research: through a practice perspective. Studies in Higher Education p 1-12.
  22. Tai J, Canny B, Haines T, Molloy E. (2016) Identifying opportunities for peer learning: an observational study of medical students on clinical placements. Teaching and Learning in Medicine p. 1-12.
  23. Bearman, M., Dawson, P., Boud, D., Bennett, S., Hall, M., & Molloy, E. (2016) Support for assessment practice: developing the Assessment Design Decisions Framework Teaching in Higher Education
  24. O’Regan S, Molloy E, Watterson L , Nestel D (2016): Observer roles that optimise learning in healthcare simulation education: a systematic review: Advances in Simulation DOI: 10.1186/s41077-015-0004-8
  25. Tai J, Canny B, Haines T, Molloy E. (2016) Building evaluative judgement through peer-assisted learning: opportunities in clinical medical education. Advances in Health Sciences Education. DOI 10.1007/s10459-015-9659-0
  26. Sevenhuysen S, Haines T, Molloy E, Keating J (2016): "Peer-Assisted Learning in the Education of Allied Health Professional Students in the Clinical Setting: a Systematic Review," Journal of Allied Health In press (accepted Feb 2016)
  27. Johnson C, Keating  J, Boud  D, Dalton  M, Kiegaldie  D, Hay  M, McGrath  B, McKenzie  W, Nair  K, Nestel  D, Palermo  C, Molloy  E (2016) Identifying educator behaviours for high quality verbal feedback in health professions education: literature review and expert refinement. BMC Medical Education DOI: 10.1186/s12909-016-0613-5  URL:
  28. Tai, J., Bearman, M., Edouard, V., Kent, F., Nestel, D. and Molloy, E. (2016), Clinical supervision training across contexts. The Clinical Teacher. 13: 4, p. 262-266 doi: 10.1111/tct.12432
  29. Tai J, Molloy E, Haines T, Canny B. (2016) Same-level peer-assisted learning in medical clinical placements: A narrative systematic review. Medical Education. 50, 4, p. 469-484.
  30. Sevenhuysen S, Farlie M, Keating J, Haines T, Molloy E. (2015). Physiotherapy students and clinical educators perceive several ways in which incorporating peer-assisted learning could improve clinical placements: a qualitative study. Journal of Physiotherapy
  31. Sevenhuysen S, Skinner EH, Farlie MK, Raitman L, Nickson W, Keating JL, Maloney S, Molloy E, Haines TP. (2014). Educators and students prefer traditional clinical education to a peer-assisted learning model, despite similar student performance outcomes: a randomised trial. Journal of Physiotherapy.
  32. Tai, JH; Haines, TP.; Canny, BJ.; and Molloy, EK. (2014) A study of medical students' peer learning on clinical placements: What they have taught themselves to do, Journal of Peer Learning, 7, 2014, 57-80.
  33. Molloy, E.K., Boud, D. (2014) “Feedback models for learning, teaching and performance” in Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, eds J. Michael Spector, M. David Merrill, Jan Elen and M.J. Bishop, Springer Science+Business Media, New York, pp. 413-424.
  34. Molloy E, Greenstock L, Molloy E, Fiddes P, Fraser C, Brooks P (2014): Interprofessional learning in health care. in Billet S, Hartieis C, Gruber H eds (2014) Handbook Practice-based Learning. Springer Publishers
  35. Greenstock L, Molloy E, Fiddes P, Fraser C, Brooks P (2014) Medical students’ perceptions of role models on clinical placements The Clinical Teacher 11 (2): 104–108
  36. McKenna L, Boyle M, Williams B, Brown T, Palermo C, Molloy E, Webb V. (2014) "Promoting interprofessional understandings through online learning: A qualitative examination" Nursing and Health Sciences doi:10.1111/nhs.12105
  37. Sevenhuysen S, Nickson W, Farlie M, Raitman L, Keating J, Molloy E, Skinner E, Maloney S, Haines T (2013) The development of a peer assisted learning model for the clinical education of physiotherapy students, Journal of Peer Learning, 6(1), Available at:
  38. Delany, C., & Beckett, D. (2018). Translating expert practice for clinical learning. In C. Delany, &E. Molloy(Eds.), Learning and teaching in clinical contexts: A practical guide. Sydney: Elsevier.
  39. Delany, C., Klein, J., & Mcleod, S. (2018). Cultivating resilient lLearners. In C. Delany, & E Molloy (Eds.),. Learning and teaching in clinical contexts: A practical guide.Sydney: Elsevier.
  40. Delany, C., & Molloy, E (2018). Learning to be a health professional and learning to be a clinical educator. In C. Delany, & E Molloy (Eds.), Learning and teaching in clinical contexts: A practical guide. Sydney: Elsevier.
  41. Khumrin P, Ryan A, Judd T, & Verspoor K. 2018. DrKnow: A Diagnostic Learning Tool with Feedback from Automated Clinical Decision Support. AMIA Clinical Informatics Conference
  42. Ryan AT, Too LS, & Bismark MM. 2018. Complaints about chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists: a retrospective cohort study of health, performance, and conduct concerns. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 26(12), 1-9. [Open access online]
  43. Khumrin P, Ryan A, Judd T, & Verspoor K. 2017. Diagnostic Machine Learning Models for Acute Abdominal Pain: Towards an e-Learning Tool for Medical Students. Studies in Health Technology & Informatics, 245: 447-451
  44. Sellitto T, Ryan A, & Judd T. 2016. ‘Video selfies’ for feedback and reflection. Medical Education, 50(5), 572-573.
  45. Ryan AT, Goss BD, Waring JM, & O’Brien RC. 2014. Managing student anxiety during curriculum change. Medical Teacher, 36(6), 546-546.
  46. Ryan AT, Ewing HP, & O'Brien RC. 2014. Practice interviews for final‐year medical students. Medical Education, 48(5), 528-529.

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Elizabeth Molloy

Department / Centre

Medical Education

Unit / Centre

Work integrated learning

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