Planning WBL Assignments and Activities
Each student has an individualized training plan outlining how he or she will gain the knowledge and skills needed to achieve a specific training objective. A well-written training plan serves as a guide for linking classroom and workplace learning.
The WBL instructor is responsible for designing and facilitating classroom learning activities that help every student in the classroom gain the knowledge and skills outlined on his or her individualized training plan.
Appropriate classroom activities vary depending on the course. When planning classroom lessons, always start with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for that course. For career preparation classroom activities, focus on employability skills and learning about the world of work. For practicum course activities, focus more on occupation-specific knowledge and skills.
Research Chosen Occupations and Careers
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recommends that as part of any WBL experience, students be required to conduct in-depth research on the job or industry in which they are being trained, or on their career goal. The research may include the history and progress of an individual business or industry sector, including the number of workers employed, employment growth rates, average salaries, future projections, and other data.
In addition to workforce and labor market information, instructors may want to have students research the history and projected growth of the business or industry sector as a whole, including projected sales trends and the factors impacting those trends. Encourage students to think through implications for their chosen career path.
Have students prepare a written summary of their findings for their career notebook and present their findings to the class.
Research and Discuss Current Events
Have students learn about current events impacting their industry, the economy, or employment in general. This can be done through class discussions, daily assignments, or writing prompts on a second page of the weekly training report.
TEA recommends incorporating the following sites in CTE career research. Take a moment to bookmark these sites: Texas Career Check and Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Have Guest Speakers on Topics of Interest
Develop and Maintain a Professional Portfolio
Developing and maintaining a professional career portfolio is a valuable learning activity for all students participating in a WBL experience.
A portfolio is not the same as a course notebook or folder. It is a purposeful, well-organized collection of materials that demonstrate a student's competencies and career readiness.
A typical career portfolio contains the student’s
- attainment of technical skill competencies;
- work samples;
- licensures or certifications;
- recognitions, awards, and scholarships;
- extended learning experiences (community service, student organizations, and professional organizations);
- letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, and advisors; and
- evaluation(s) from the training site supervisor or employer.