The health emergency connected to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it significant implications for education systems around the world, which have found themselves managing complex situations that have often led to a crisis in ordinary processes. Distance learning is a long-debated topic in the scientific literature of the educational field (Ardizzone & Rivoltella, 2003; Trentin, 2004; Bates & Bates, 2005; Anderson & Dron, 2011; Simpson, 2018), and the needs related to COVID-19 have also forced those who usually used it integrated with in-classroom teaching to rethink its design as the only vehicle for managing formative processes. Maintaining a high level of student engagement in a scenario where formative design has been developed entirely at a distance, where direct contact with teachers and peers has been limited or prohibited and where skills and technological resources have sometimes proved insufficient, was one of the greatest challenges posed to schools and universities, also in the Italian context (Lucisano, 2020; Bianchi, 2020; Di Palma & Belfiore, 2020). In the university context, one of the processes that was particularly affected by the implications related to the pandemic also included internship programmes (Mediawati et al., 2020; Srivastava et al., 2020; Jayasuriya, 2021). This paper examines the results of an exploratory research project developed at the Roma Tre University, in particular in the Department of Education. The main objectives of the research were: to deepen the strategies used to redesign the formative activities - theoretical and practical - related to internships; to identify the methods of coordination between universities and host structures for the design of mixed or entirely remote internship activities and to detect the level of student participation and satisfaction during the internship activities proposed person-to-person and online. The tools used were questionnaires and written interviews, to interact with the students and with the host structures of the internship, and logbooks, to collect qualitative information on the educational design of structures. In order to collect information on the level of participation of students in the activities, the analytics functions provided by the Moodle platform used by the University for distance learning design were also used. The data collected has highlighted a high level of student participation and satisfaction in the proposed internship formative activities. The synergy between universities and external structures has been fundamental for the effective development of student internship experiences, despite the limitations in travel and interaction related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main outcome of the research was that even in times of crisis it is possible to maintain a high level of student engagement by designing internship programmes that allow the development of face-toface and online activities that are compatible with what the health emergency allows.

Giuliani, A. (2021). Distance learning and internship programs: how to engage students in times of crisis. In EDULEARN21 Proceedings (pp.726-732).

Distance learning and internship programs: how to engage students in times of crisis

Arianna Giuliani
2021-01-01

Abstract

The health emergency connected to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it significant implications for education systems around the world, which have found themselves managing complex situations that have often led to a crisis in ordinary processes. Distance learning is a long-debated topic in the scientific literature of the educational field (Ardizzone & Rivoltella, 2003; Trentin, 2004; Bates & Bates, 2005; Anderson & Dron, 2011; Simpson, 2018), and the needs related to COVID-19 have also forced those who usually used it integrated with in-classroom teaching to rethink its design as the only vehicle for managing formative processes. Maintaining a high level of student engagement in a scenario where formative design has been developed entirely at a distance, where direct contact with teachers and peers has been limited or prohibited and where skills and technological resources have sometimes proved insufficient, was one of the greatest challenges posed to schools and universities, also in the Italian context (Lucisano, 2020; Bianchi, 2020; Di Palma & Belfiore, 2020). In the university context, one of the processes that was particularly affected by the implications related to the pandemic also included internship programmes (Mediawati et al., 2020; Srivastava et al., 2020; Jayasuriya, 2021). This paper examines the results of an exploratory research project developed at the Roma Tre University, in particular in the Department of Education. The main objectives of the research were: to deepen the strategies used to redesign the formative activities - theoretical and practical - related to internships; to identify the methods of coordination between universities and host structures for the design of mixed or entirely remote internship activities and to detect the level of student participation and satisfaction during the internship activities proposed person-to-person and online. The tools used were questionnaires and written interviews, to interact with the students and with the host structures of the internship, and logbooks, to collect qualitative information on the educational design of structures. In order to collect information on the level of participation of students in the activities, the analytics functions provided by the Moodle platform used by the University for distance learning design were also used. The data collected has highlighted a high level of student participation and satisfaction in the proposed internship formative activities. The synergy between universities and external structures has been fundamental for the effective development of student internship experiences, despite the limitations in travel and interaction related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main outcome of the research was that even in times of crisis it is possible to maintain a high level of student engagement by designing internship programmes that allow the development of face-toface and online activities that are compatible with what the health emergency allows.
978-84-09-31267-2
Giuliani, A. (2021). Distance learning and internship programs: how to engage students in times of crisis. In EDULEARN21 Proceedings (pp.726-732).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/389779
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