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Integrating Practical Experience in I-O Courses

By Thomas A. O’Neill, University of Calgary, and R. Blake Jelley, University of Prince Edward Island

Although in many programs it might be traditional for both undergraduate and graduate students to learn about I-O through readings, lectures, and discussion, integrating practical experiences directly into courses might be useful for student engagement and learning (cf. Strobel & van Barneveld, 2009). It also seems well aligned with the desire to train high-quality personnel capable of finding, understanding, and using the best scientific evidence, along with local evidence and stakeholder concerns, to improve organizational decision making (Briner & Rousseau, 2011). It is possible that academically oriented students stand to benefit, too, as science informs practice but practice also informs science.  Experiencing little with respect to practice could lead to the pursuit of scientific problems of small applied significance, which is increasingly difficult to defend in light of sweeping budget cuts to arts, humanities, and social sciences. In this article, we offer “how to” suggestions for supporting practical experiences and training as part of I-O course delivery. Continue reading this article in the July issue of The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist (TIP) here!

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