Presentation Title

The Internship Course: Adding Depth, Breadth, Flexibility and Connection

Presenter Information

Patricia Moore-MartinezFollow

Streaming Media

Submission Type

20-minute Presentation

Abstract

Although internships enable students to make connections between their academics and the workforce, the key to this maturation is the reflective process. However, as students intern abroad, they may be isolated from the dialogue occurring in classrooms that deepens their understanding.

A decision was made to harness digital technologies to bring distance students into the classroom, including them in the collaborative work and spontaneous exchange core to the internship course’s learning outcomes.

This presentation will review student perceptions, discuss university infrastructure, outline plans for converting the course into an online format and suggest additional applications of the “portable student”.

Start Date

5-22-2019 1:30 PM

End Date

5-22-2019 2:45 PM

Description

Although internships are an evidence-based practice enabling students to make connections between their academics and the workforce, sharpening their awareness of their knowledge, skill set and the application of each, the key to this cognitive maturation is the contextualization of the experience and the reflective process. A priori these steps seem unproblematic; however, as students intern abroad, technology is vital in allowing distance students to access, engage in and reflect upon the spontaneous inquiry that emerges from the classroom.

Temple University’s Spanish department’s internship class meets weekly. The class enables students to grasp more holistically how their common academic backgrounds prepare them for a diverse array of paths including healthcare, criminal justice, journalism and education. Significantly, a number of students have attained internships outside of Philadelphia, domestically and internationally. Until recently, the only option for them to earn academic credit and to formally reflect was through an independent study with faculty. Although much of the content could be completed online: reflections, summaries, analyses, this solution taxed the faculty and more importantly limited the students’ involvement in the rich dialogue occurring in the classroom. This in turn circumscribed the breadth of academic content and task-based activities with which the student engaged since classroom discourse emerges from critical evaluations of academic articles or problem solving for case studies.

In the fall of 2018, with two students completing internships abroad, the decision was made to harness digital technologies to bring the students to class. The LMS’ virtual meeting platform (VMP) allows distance students to attend class, to see projected images, to listen to lectures or to speak to the class through the central screen. Unfortunately, this centralized attendance did not lend itself to the collaborative, small group work core to the course’s learning outcomes. The work-around was the “portable student”. The faculty logged onto the VMP on the classroom computer and a laptop, allowing the away-student to access the classroom projections and, via the laptop, to collaborate in small group work.

The pilot semester was a success, albeit with hiccups. Students and faculty reported satisfaction with synchronous student participation and the expanded geography of the internship placements deepened on-campus and off-campus student learning.

This presentation will review student perceptions of the practice, compare student work, discuss university infrastructure and support, outline plans for converting the course into an online format and suggest additional applications of the “portable student” and hindrances to consider.

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May 22nd, 1:30 PM May 22nd, 2:45 PM

The Internship Course: Adding Depth, Breadth, Flexibility and Connection

Although internships enable students to make connections between their academics and the workforce, the key to this maturation is the reflective process. However, as students intern abroad, they may be isolated from the dialogue occurring in classrooms that deepens their understanding.

A decision was made to harness digital technologies to bring distance students into the classroom, including them in the collaborative work and spontaneous exchange core to the internship course’s learning outcomes.

This presentation will review student perceptions, discuss university infrastructure, outline plans for converting the course into an online format and suggest additional applications of the “portable student”.