Nanyang Technological University (SINGAPORE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6353-6358
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Students learn better when they are able to make connections between the school curriculum and their experiences. The Retail Experience for Active Learning (REAL) was an innovative project implemented with the support of retailers in Singapore to provide an authentic learning environment for students to apply business knowledge and skills learnt in school at the real workplace and vice versa. One hundred Year 9 Elements of Business Skills (EBS) students were assigned to local retail outlets to experience the real customer service environment. Students job-shadowed workplace mentors for two weeks during their mid-year vacation break and completed work tasks as retail assistants for four weeks during their end-of-year vacation break. This study investigated the impact of REAL internship on the participants.
Additionally, the use of ICT as a tool for research, assessment and communication was explored in the study. Quantitative data of students’ perceptions was collected via an online survey to capitalise on the convenience and efficiency provided by online surveys. To leverage on the popularity of social media among youths, a Facebook account was set-up to provide a platform for REAL students to reflect and share their authentic learning experiences; for the research team to interact and track REAL students’ progress; and to motivate and involved EBS students who were not involved in the REAL project through the social interaction. This paper discussed the use of social media as a data collection tool as well as a social interaction tool for students to share their learning experiences.
Experiential learning, student internship, cooperative education, information and communication technologies, new media.