12 Februari 2009

Internship in Information Systems undergraduate programme

I am tasked to evaluate the internship programme of our department. Therefore, last January I sent a query to two mailing list in regard of "Internship in Information Systems undergraduate programme". I have received 19 replies from three regions i.e. Americas (8), Euro/Africa (3), and Asia/Australia (8). This following is the compiled result:

Question 1: "Is it optional or mandatory?"
* Mandatory: 13
* Optional: 6

Question 2: "How long is the internship?"
* One year: 2
* 12-24 weeks
* 320 hours: 5
* 200 hours
* 3-6 credit units
* 3 credit units: 5
* 2 credit units
* 135 hours equivalent to a 3 credit course (9 hours x 15 weeks)
* 5 - 20 hours/week, depending on the number of units they want to earn.
* 4 weeks (20 days) of full-time work

Question 3: Are the duties "fixed/pre-arranged" or "open-ended"?
* fixed/pre-arranged: 7
* open-ended: 6
* must be approved by the faculty supervisor, but at the discretion of the company to choose the project within the corporation
* duties are by contract between employer, student and faculty. We have an onsite internship coordinator who helps arrange the internship and liaison with the employer. Students are also required to take internship workshops given by the coordinator the semester prior to the internship. These workshops include: interview skills, resume writing, professional expectations (arrive on time, dress right etc.)
* pre-arranged with selected employers. We allocate student to company. All students are given the same remuneration by each employer. We split students across: selected consulting/advisory companies; software and hardware vendors; large corporate companies (banking and financial services in particular).
* some of them do real work like building simple IT systems or helping out with process modeling. Some of them do helpdesk support.

Question 4: How/who is going to grade the result: "the faculty committee" or "the employer"?
* both: 5
* the employer: 2
* the faculty member in charge of the internship.
* there is no committee, however the employer makes an assessment of the student's work
* faculty grades academic result; employer may also provide performance feedback as they would for regular employees
* faculty in charge in consultation with employer supervisor.
* 35% by the employer, rest by faculty supervisor
* a single faculty member
* the student grade is based upon employee evaluation and faculty response to the paper. The faculty member gives the grade. Recent university policy requires all internships to be Pass/Fail.
* employer writes a report and provides perception of student performance against a range of criteria, faculty assigns formal grades based not just on the employer report, but also the student’s self evaluation report, and presentation.
* the University grades the result with input from the employer

Question 5: Do the intern have to write a report?
* Yes: 12
* No: 2
* This is a writing emphasis course - 3 credits. They do daily journals, a written report 1500 words and a presentation to the corporate sector when they come back to school. We invite in all supervisors and have a corporate presentation evening with a reception.
* Yes - the report as two parts. Part A is a relection/report on their activities/duties. Part B is a research oriented report about something in the IT field that has come up because of the internship. The report is about 10 pages.
* Yes, this is a big part of assessment, and it is important for the student to reflect on various components of the coursework and how those were applied in practice (or not).

Question 6: Do the intern have to "defend" their products/results before a committee?
* Yes (in a seminar): 8
* Yes, the presentation is an important component of the grade, and wonderful opportunity for the students to learn what others did / compare experiences etc.
* No: 6
* No. They work with a single faculty member.
* No, it takes too much time and effort.
* No committee. (The Faculty member) visit each company and student in the summer and learn from the company and supervisor exactly what they are doing, what they need to improve on and what they excel in. Then during the fall semester in the capstone course we work on those items that are specific to them in addition to the requirements of the capstone course.
* They have to give a presentation mid way – this is not a viva.

* The instructor assigned to the student intern provides the final grade. Sometimes the student make a presentation that other professors come to, but they do not grade the presentation.
* There is no committee. Students must seek out a faculty member willing to sponsor the internship. It is more like an independent study.
* There is also an up-to-2-year program where 3 students build software for companies. They literally go all the way from requirements gathering and interviews, etc. to implementation of the system. Generally, the students who have done this have gotten the best job offers, because they can talk intelligently about what it means to be involved in a project.
* No deliverable is required - they only need to share their experience at the end. Attendance and professional conduct is essential and this may be the main requirement.

revisi 10.11.01-02