FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:   || 2 | 3 |

«INTERNSHIPS AND THE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING William Templeton, Butler University Karel Updyke, Butler University Robert B. Bennett, Jr., ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --




William Templeton, Butler University

Karel Updyke, Butler University

Robert B. Bennett, Jr., Butler University


The use of internships is a powerful learning tool that allow business students to make connections between their classroom experience and the world of work. If designed appropriately and positioned correctly in the curriculum, they can also be an ideal opportunity to conduct assurance of learning activities related to business school accreditation. This study reports on survey results relating to business schools’ use of internships in their assurance of learning efforts and describes one school’s successful attempt to use internships as the key platform for its well-developed assurance of learning program.

JEL: M10 KEYWORDS: assessment, internships, student learning, experiential learning, business education


A significant body of literature suggests that people learn most effectively through active learning, when they do something with their knowledge [e.g. Bonwell & Eison, 1991]. Observers both outside and inside the academy have criticized business schools’ for providing so few active, practical learning experiences. For example, the Accounting Education Change Commission [1990], and Pearce [1999], both criticize the lack of relevance in business education, especially the lack of practical experiences such as those provided by internships. As we discuss in a later section, internships are an effective, active learning tool in the business disciplines. In addition to the practical experience, internships provide an opportunity to incorporate academic assignments in which students connect their internships to their classroom business curriculum. This linking of theory and work experience can enhance the total business education for students helping to ensure that students see the relevance of their classroom learning. Despite the criticism offered by outsiders and the apparent benefits of internships as an educational tool, research suggests that very few business schools require all students to complete internships [Updyke & Sander, 2005].

In addition to being a relevant and effective educational practice, internships and their attendant academic assignments provide an effective platform on which to conduct assessment activities (called “assurance of learning” or “AOL” in business schools). Revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation from the AACSB International (AACSB) have generated unprecedented interest in AOL activities and nearly all business schools are seeking better methods for demonstrating that their students are, indeed, learning what they intend for them to learn. Students successfully drawing on concepts and skills learned in previous academic experiences and applying them to an actual work situation are more powerful indications of learning than AOL attached to the classroom course in which students first learn those concepts and skills. As outlined in the 1992 American Association for Higher Education Assessment Forum’s Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning [American Association for Higher Education, 1992], schools need to assess not only what students learn at a particular time in a particular course, but also what they can do with what they know through later performance. In other words, AOL should involve evaluating the effects of an entire program on student learning and students’ ability to integrate and apply what they have learned. A well-developed AOL

27W. Templeton et al | BEA Vol. 4 ♦ No. 2 ♦ 2012

program entails a much broader view than evaluating what students learn in a particular course and assessment connected to internships are an ideal element of that sort of AOL program.

Since the mid-1980s, the Butler University College of Business (COB) has required all students to complete two internships. The faculty has always been adamant that a substantial proportion of the course grade must be based on academic papers and presentations, both of which reflect students’ connection of business concepts to their work experiences. The grading structure remains relatively unchanged since the program began, and calls for 30 percent of course grades to be based on supervisors’ evaluations, with 70 percent based on instructors’ evaluation of written and oral assignments.

While the faculty has always required students to demonstrate their learning through assignments for the purpose of determining their grades, it only recently began using the assignments to measure students’ learning across the business curriculum. Internship assignments now are a key component of the AOL program with respect to students’ accomplishment of four of the seven learning objectives for business majors: general business knowledge, global issues’ importance in business, problem-solving and thinking skills, and communications skills. The objectives of this paper include 1) to review the literature relative to internships and their use in assessing student learning, 2) to report the results of a survey designed to determine the extent to which business schools use internships and related assignments for assessment purposes, and 3) to report how one business school uses internships and connected student assignments for assessment of student learning.


Studies in a wide variety of disciplines emphasize the many advantages of internships and cooperative education experiences [e.g., Maskooki, Rama & Raghunandan, 1998, p. 75; Kelly, 2007, p. 10; Beard, 1998, p. 507-08]. Although cooperative education experiences have different characteristics than internship programs, they both involve a student actively working as a requirement of or a supplement to a program of business study, either with or without academic credit. For purposes of the discussion in this paper, we refer to both types of experiences as an “internship.” Internships provide many advantages to students, their business schools, and employers.

For example, internships introduce many students to the world of work and the necessary work habits and values that are necessary to succeed in the world of work. Moreover, they provide students the opportunity to gain valuable practical business experience and insights that might be otherwise absent from the business curriculum [e.g., Gabris & Mitchell, 1989, p. 485]. Internships also allow students to connect their practical experiences in the workplace with the theoretical constructs that they have explored in the classroom [e.g., Clark, 2003, p. 472-73; Young, Wright & Stein, 2006, p. 131]. In addition, students become more engaged in their classroom work and become better students when they are better able to understand the relevance of the theoretical models. Some studies have noted improved student classroom performance upon their return from internship experiences. [e.g., English & Koeppen, 1993; Clark, 2003, p. 473]. When properly monitored, many internships offer students significant educational benefits even when no formal effort is made to link the experience to classroom activities.

Through their professional work experience, students receive an “inside track” in finding post-college employment, which is becoming an increasingly significant factor in a depressed job market for recent, inexperienced college graduates. [e.g., Knemeyer & Murphy, 2001, p. 17; Knouse & Fontenot, 2008]. An internship, even if it is unsuccessful for the student, can help students discern career direction. Finally, although an increasing proportion of internships are unpaid in a down economy, students are often able to earn some money to help offset their educational experiences [Hall, Stiles, Kuzma & Elliott, 1995, p. 43Internship programs also provide numerous benefits for business schools and employers. For example, they can provide regular points of contact between businesses and business schools and their faculty [Maskooki, Rama & Raghunandan, 1998, p. 74]. Internship programs allow employers to

28BUSINESS EDUCATION & ACCREDITATION ♦ Volume 4 ♦ Number 2♦ 2012

evaluate potential employees over an extended period without any formal commitment to hire the students permanently [e.g., Knechel & Snowball, 1987, p. 800; Hall, Stiles, Kuzma & Elliott, 1995, p. 43-44;

Employers Rate Internship Programs as Most Effective Recruiting Tool, 2004]. Finally, subject to the requirements and limitations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and appropriate norms of business ethics, internship programs can serve as a source of inexpensive, educated, highly motivated labor for employers [Bell, 1994, p. 481].

These advantages have led many business schools to institute internship programs and provide academic credit for the programs [e.g., English & Koeppen, 1993, p. 292; Lipka, 2010]. However, few business schools have made internships a universal requirement. In an earlier survey of AACSB institutions, Updyke and Sander [2005] found that of 133 respondents, 114 offered internship programs. Of those 114, only 12 required internships for all business majors, while another 16 required it for some programs.

Beard [1998] reported comparable findings.

In its standards for accreditation, the AACSB establishes detailed standards for the acquisition and maintenance of accredited business programs. Many business schools view AACSB accreditation as representing a signal of quality to their prospective students and other stakeholders and aspire to either achieve or maintain accreditation. AACSB touts its standards as being “mission driven,” allowing for a variety of different types of educational institutions to respond to various types of missions and markets, rather than a “one size fits all” method of evaluation modeled on premier research institutions. The standards emphasize quality delivery of the institution’s stated mission, assurance of student learning, and continuous improvement—all goals which should resonate with business faculty. However, the standards

convey some relevant general mission expectations:

In general, appropriateness for higher education for management implies learning experiences and career preparation that goes well beyond skill training. It conveys an expectation of education about the context within which management careers develop, as well as capacities for direct applications of functional skills. Students should comprehend the “why” of business activity as well as the “how.” [AACSB International, Eligibility Procedures…, 2010, p. 18] Moreover, the Standards emphasize that “…students also are responsible to take an active role in their learning experiences. Passive learning should not be the sole, or primary, model for collegiate business education.” [AACSB International, Eligibility Procedures…, 2010, p. 30] As the advantages of internships cited above make clear, a well-managed internship program could integrally contribute to the achievement of these expectations.

Likewise, internship programs provide the opportunity to measure student learning in an academic program and “to assist the school and faculty members to improve programs and courses. By measuring learning, the school can evaluate its students’ success at achieving learning goals, can use the measures to plan improvement efforts, and (depending on the type of measures) can provide feedback and guidance for individual students.” [AACSB International, Eligibility Procedures…, 2010, p. 58] The AACSB standards require that schools establish programmatic learning goals, that they monitor student performance to make sure that these goals are met, and that they use these measures of achievement as a continuous improvement tool to make programmatic changes, i.e., “close the loop.” [See generally, e.g., Martell, 2007; Interview/Kathryn Martell, 2007]. The standards note that these goals could include general knowledge and skills, such as communication skills, problem-solving ability, critical thinking, etc., as well as management-specific skills, ethical and legal responsibilities, financial theories, etc. The AACSB accepts that schools may assure learning outcomes by selection (which arguably does not assure any learning at the particular institution at all), course-embedded measurement

29W. Templeton et al | BEA Vol. 4 ♦ No. 2 ♦ 2012

tools, or by stand-alone testing or performance. The standards make it clear that indirect measures of student learning, such as surveys of employers or alumni, can supplement but not supplant direct measures of learning. Although many schools seem to be using a stand-alone test, such as the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test, to assess overall business knowledge [Kelley, Tong & Choi, 2010, p. 300], such a measurement provides virtually no information to assess many specific programmatic goals [e.g., Pritchard, Saccucci, & Potter, 2010], particularly those related to general knowledge and skills. The standards indicate that a capstone course, such as a “capstone business-strategy course” might be an appropriate place to imbed the measurement of achievement of more integrative goals. We suggest that an alternative place to assess achievement of student learning and accomplishment of programmatic goals is in an internship course, which, by definition, is tied to a student’s experience in the messiness and ambiguity of the business world. In fact, for this reason, we argue that internships provide a superior context in which to assess accomplishment of programmatic goals compared to the capstone business strategy course. Although universities are experimenting with a wide variety of educational approaches and measurement techniques [e.g., Weldy & Turnipseed, 2010, p. 268-69; Pringle & Michel, 2007], we have found no previous published reports of attempts to use internships for formal programmatic assessment for AACSB.


Pages:   || 2 | 3 |

Similar works:

«Fuel Economy Fraud 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 1987, the fuel economy of the new U.S. car and truck fleet reached a peak of nearly 26 miles per gallon. By 2004, it had fallen to 24.4 miles per gallon, hovering around a 20-year low. This backsliding occurred because fuel economy standards have remained essentially unchanged over the past 20 years and automakers have increasingly exploited loopholes in Congressional and regulatory language. In addition, a flawed U.S. tax code actually provides...»

«The Continental Tradition in the Theory of Public Finance: An Exercise in Mapping and Recovery Jürgen G. Backhaus Krupp Chair in Public Finance and Fiscal Sociology University of Erfurt Nordhäuser Str. 63 99089 Erfurt Germany tel.: ++49-361-737-4551 fax: ++49-361-737-4559 email: juergen.backhaus@uni-erfurt.de http://www.uni-erfurt.de/finanzwissenschaft and Richard E. Wagner Harris Professor of Economics Department of Economics, MSN 3G4 George Mason University Fairfax, VA 22030 tel.:...»

«Department of Health, England and Health Departments of the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland UK Pandemic Influenza Communications Strategy 2012 Department of Health Pandemic Flu Communications Strategy   DH INFORMATION READER BOX Clinical Estates Policy HR / Workforce Commissioner Development IM & T Management Provider Development Finance Planning / Performance Improvement and Efficiency Social Care / Partnership Working Best Practice Guidance Document Purpose...»

«Abfallwirtschaftskonzept für die Stadt Ludwigshafen Wissenschaftlicher Leiter: Prof. Dr.-Ing. K. Gellenbeck Bearbeiter: Dr.-Ing. Gabriele Becker M. Sc. Bernd Ewering INFA Institut für Abfall, Abwasser und Infrastruktur-Management GmbH Wirtschaftsbetrieb Ludwigshafen Inhaltsverzeichnis Eigenbetrieb der Stadt Ludwigshafen am Rhein Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Einführung 2 Entwicklung der Rahmenbedingungen in der Stadt Ludwigshafen 2.1 Lage und Gebietsstruktur 2.2 Wirtschaft und Gewerbestruktur 2.3...»

«Josef Hien Josef.hien@gmail.com A.SK Post Doctoral Fellow Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin Reichpietschufer 50 10785 Berlin Tax Evasion in Italy: A God-given right? Introduction In 1814, an angry mob stormed Giuseppe Prina’s house in Milan.1 The mob threw Pirna out of the first floor window and dragged him heavily injured through the city streets. Outraged people lining the streets stabbed him to death. Pirna was the finance minister and first tax collector of the Italian Cisalpine republic, the...»

«Financial Guide for Undergraduates 2014-2015 Wadham College 1 INTRODUCTION This guide is designed to help you navigate your way around financial support provided by the government, your college and the university. We recognise that your financial situation is personal and you may be concerned about discussing it with others, but the reality is that many students may be in a similar situation to you. Advisers from the college, university and student union are used to the type of problems...»

«Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead Clinical Commissioning Group Minutes of the Governing Body Meeting in public held on Wednesday 7th October 2015 Present: Adrian Hayter Chair Anne Stebbing Secondary Core Member Dr Judith Kinder GP Member Christabel Shawcross Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Member Kirstin Ostle GP Member Lay Member – Patient and Public Involvement Robert Cooper Alan Mackay Practice Manager Member Carolyn Robertshaw GP Member Karen Stevens Practice Nurse Member Sarah Bellars...»

«Generalized Method of Moments1 Alastair R. Hall The University of Manchester Manchester, UK2 March 10, 2009 1 Manuscript prepared for inclusion in the section edited by Ole Barndorff-Nielsen and Eric Renault on financial econometrics that is to appear in the Encyclopedia of Quantitative Finance. 2 contact address: Economics, School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK; phone: 0161 275 4875; fax: 0161 275 4812; email:...»

«Double Taxation Agreements Gain or Loss to Tanzania? A study by Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition May 2016 Double Taxation Agreements: Gain or Loss to Tanzania? Acknowledgements This study on the impact of Tanzania’s Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) on revenue collection was conducted by a coalition of NGOs working for tax justice. The group was established in 2013 and comprises of Policy Forum, ActionAid Tanzania, Kepa, Youth Partnership Countrywide, Tanzania Coalition on Debt and Development,...»

«2008~2020 Planning for Industrial Economic Development and Cooperation in Northern Part of Lao People's Democratic Republic (Mid-term Draft for Opinions) Northern Laos Industrial Economic Development and Cooperation Planning Preparation Group May 2008 1 Preface I. “Planning for Industrial Economic Development and Cooperation in Northern Part of Lao People's Democratic Republic” (referred to as “North Plan” hereinafter”) is a technical assistance project that the Chinese government...»

«Page 1 of 9 Watershed Vol. 3 No. 1 July October 1997 Land Rights: The Challenge for 'Ratanakiri's Indigenous Communities By Sara Colm The northeast of Cambodia is opened up for development, the lands, forests and livelihoods of its indigenous peoples are coming under increasing pressure. Land rights is becoming a key issue in determining the future of communities and forests in Ratanakiri province. The ancestral lands and traditional livelihoods of indigenous groups in Ratanakiri province in...»

«October 28, 2014 Alfred M. Pollard General Counsel Federal Housing Finance Agency 400 7th St., SW Washington, D.C. 20024 RE: RIN 2590-AA65 Enterprise Housing Goals Dear Mr. Pollard: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released for comments its proposed housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs).1 The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)2 appreciates the opportunity to comment on this important proposal. What follows are MBA’s comments from both the residential and...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.