Journal article

Perceived influence of mechanical engineering students’ work placement experiences on their occupational competency and self-efficacy

Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Ngonda T, Shaw C, Kloot B

Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)

Publication year: 2020

Journal: International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education

Start page: 1

End page: 20

Total number of pages: 20

ISSN: 0306-4190



This paper proposes a qualitative systems dynamics model that explains how students’ work placement experiences either enhance or hinder the growth of their occupational competency and self-efficacy. The model is developed from qualitative analysis of work placement experiences of mechanical engineering students from a South African uni-versity of technology. Findings from the analysis show that students’ occupational com-petency and self-efficacy could be considered emergent outcomes of interactions of the learning environment, mentor posture, mentor capacity, mentor availability, meaning-fulness of work, scope of work, agency, doing work, co-participating, participation trajectory and performance trajectory. The explanation of the factors and social mech-anisms that influence students’ occupational competency and self-efficacy that is offered by the qualitative systems dynamics model would enable the implementation of work placement programs in a manner that would promote rather than hinder the growth of these two indicators of student employability.


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Last updated on 2020-18-09 at 12:01