EDSIGCON Proceedings 2018

Norfolk, Virginia

Conference Highlights Keynote Presentations

2018 EDSIGCON Proceedings - Abstract Presentation

Effective Internships: A Study Combining Curriculum Development, Student Performance, and Program Assessment

John Reynolds
Grand Valley State University

Roger Ferguson
Grand Valley State University

Paul Leidig
Grand Valley State University

Joseph Hornik
Grand Valley State University

Since the 1960’s, internships have been part of many computing programs. Today, internships in Information Systems (IS) and Computer Science (CS) are often a one-semester course taken in one of the last two semesters of a baccalaureate degree. For over 25 years, an internship program has been an integral part of the computing program at XXXX through: a required internship, a rapidly growing number of available internships, and an increasing diversity in the type of work offered in the internship. Because of the significance of required internships to these programs, data were collected for the past 10 years in the attempt to assess the effectiveness of the internship program. Effectiveness was defined as: Did the internship program (1) Improve curriculum development by closing the loop on what earlier courses need to be changed to support the internship? (2) Improve the reputation of the programs as a result of having successful internships? (3) Support assessment for ABET accreditation by using the data collected with subsequent analysis? For this study, data analysis involved using questionnaires that students and employers submitted at the end of a completed internship. In the process, much of the available data was in a subjective format; therefore, it was necessary to categorize the data that reflected areas of the curriculum and correlated them to relevant ABET criteria. Presented below are 8 categories used: Category Area of curriculum/ABET 1 Written, memo, emailing, office documents, preparing presentation, document preparing. 2 Database, SQL, Management of DB 3 Web Dev, Scripting, PHP, ASP.net, JavaScript 4 Development in General using a Computer Language (group C is a subset) 5 Verbal communication, presentations, talking with staff, customers, co-workers, 6 Valued employee, good team member, organized, on – time, gets some work done. 7 Critical thinking, problem solver, Completes the task & more, handles change, no hand holding 8 Networks, servers, distributed systems. The responses of IS and CS majors and their respective supervisors were compared to each other to determine statistically significant curriculum areas of success and those curriculum areas where improvement was needed. As expected, the results show that IS majors have good verbal/communication skills, but need more database management and SQL in their curriculum. Conversely, CS majors have good general development and programming skills, but need more web development and scripting in their curriculum. It is also clear that the methods of data collection and analysis need improvement to reduce both the manual effort in categorization and improve the accuracy of the data. Therefore, a new questionnaire and online system have been developed with objective data elements, automated categorization and statistical evaluation. Through improvements with data collection and analysis, an expanded and improved internship evaluation will evolve providing better data to the curriculum development and ABET program assessment processes. Bibliography [1] “Internships, Theory and Practice” by Charles H. Sides and Ann Mrvica, Book, First published 2007 by Baywood publishing company, 2014 revised Routledge, ISBN – 13: 978-0-89503-355-0, ISBN – 10: 0-89503-355-0 [2] “Building the EDP (Electronic Data Processing) Future in New York State”, Donald Axelrod, Public Administration Review, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Sep, 1962), pp. 139-141, Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration DOI: 10.2307/973825 [3] “The million-dollar question: can internships boost employment?”, by Betina Lopes, Marco Costa, Ana I. Melo, Gonçalo Paiva Dias, Elisabeth Brito & Dina Seabra, Journal Studies in Higher Education, Volume 43, 2018, publish on line 26,2016 [4] “Student learning opportunities in traditional and computer-mediated internships” by Leopold Bayerlein, Debora Jeske, TRAINING VOLUME 60, ISSUE 1, Emerald Insights. 2018 [5] http://www.abet.org/about-abet/history/ [6] http://www.abet.org/accreditation/self-study-templates/ [7] http://www.abet.org/accreditation/accreditation-criteria/

Recommended Citation: Reynolds, J., Ferguson, R., Leidig, P., Hornik, J., (2018). Effective Internships: A Study Combining Curriculum Development, Student Performance, and Program Assessment. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2018) n.4785, Norfolk, Virginia