Broadening participation in experiential learning through virtual internships
THE VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP MODEL
Virtual Internships is a technology-mediated experiential learning intervention designed to address these challenges and broaden participation in experiential learning and work-based learning. Particularly for traditionally underserved student populations.
In a virtual internship, students work in teams to complete curriculum-aligned employer-sponsored projects. The Virtual Internship platform mediates feedback between the students and employer partners and scaffolds learning content, reflection, and peer-review processes around the project delivery to support non-academic skill development and career exploration.
The Virtual Internship platform monitors each team and project using real-time learning analytics, displays potential issues, and recommends a course of action to the teacher so they can understand how the project is progressing and identify opportunities where they can support their students and the employer partners.
A Virtual Internship provides a time and resource efficient alternative to internships and co-ops for businesses navigating the impacts of the Covid – 19 pandemic while also opening up access to the positive benefits of experiential for students who may not be able to participate in full-time place-based experiential learning programs like co-ops and internships due to distance, family commitments, accessibility challenges, and current employment.
HOW WE SUPPORT YOU
PROJECT TEMPLATE LIBRARY
Our industry project template library includes industry-specific projects that align the learning goals of students and industry partner needs.
THE VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP PLATFORM
The Virtual Internship platform:
1. Mediates feedback between students and industry partners,
2. Monitors each team and project using real-time learning analytics, displays potential issues, and recommends a course of action to the teacher,
3. Scaffolds learning content, skill development, and career exploration activities into the student experience to help them successfully complete their project.
We support faculty, teachers, and administrators to implement the virtual internship program. Our support includes:
1. Implementation Coaching
2. Teacher Training
3. Community of Practice Sessions
4. Implementation Resource Library
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE
We partnered with Northeastern Graduate School of Education’s NExT Network to provide a for-credit professional development program for teachers, faculty, and work-based learning coordinators.
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This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under award DUE-1725941. However, any opinions, findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.