To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
Integrating Practical Experience in I-O Courses Thomas A. O’Neill University of Calgary 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, un- derstanding, and using the best scientific evidence, along with local evidence and stakeholder concerns, to improve organ- izational decision making (Briner & Rous- seau, 2011). It is possible that academi- cally oriented students stand to benefit, too, as science informs practice but prac- tice 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 ex- periences and training as part of I-O course delivery. 142 An Argument for Integrating Practice- Based Learning Components Training personnel to competently deploy evidence-based practice requires more than obtaining research knowledge about a wide range of topics in I-O. It requires more than the development of research skills and active engagement in research projects. Arguably, there is also a need for students to experience the process of gen- erating solutions to actual organizational problems (Peterson, 2004). Providing stu- dents with an authentic, applied situation as the starting point for refining their skills in defining problems, acquiring, apprais- ing, and using relevant evidence is one promising way to make the practice of I-O psychology more evidence-based (Briner & Rousseau, 2011; Goodman & O’Brien, 2012). Similar approaches are popular elsewhere, such as the use of problem- based learning in medical education (Barends, ten Have, & Huisman, 2012) and applied projects in management courses (Goodman & O’Brien, 2012). Despite the relatively large volume of research on problem-based learning in medical educa- tion, meta-analytic evidence suggests this approach is more effective in other fields, July 2014 Volume 52 Issue 1