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Appears in:
Pages: 5521-5527
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MAKE IT WORK! INTEGRATING VIRTUAL MOBILITY IN INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS

International internships are gaining more importance in the context of internationalization of higher education. Traditional international internships are not always feasible for all students because of financial, geographical, social or other reasons. For those physical placements abroad that do happen, there are also a number of difficulties to overcome, mainly related to a lack of communication between the different stakeholders. Virtual mobility, defined as “a set of ICT supported activities that realize or facilitate international, collaborative experiences in a context of teaching and/or learning”, offers possibilities to address these issues. It can be used to facilitate and support physical international internships (blended) or to realise international internships (virtual).
Any internship involves three stakeholders: the higher education institution, the student and the company. During an internship these stakeholders ideally interact with each other on a regular basis, although the main line of interaction will of course be between the student and the company. Virtual mobility can be implemented to facilitate this interaction at a distance. This can happen on the three different lines of interaction. The implementation of ICT to support interaction can also range from very limited (when most of the interaction between two stakeholders takes place face-to-face) to very far-reaching (when all of the interaction between two stakeholders happens at a distance).
In an internship three different phases can be distinguished: before, during and after. In each of the phases one or more different actors are involved and virtual mobility activities can help to enable optimal communication between the different stakeholders.
In the ‘before’ phase preparations need to be made to ensure a successful virtual placement. In this phase it is essential to plan the placement thoroughly in all its aspects. Virtual mobility can be useful here to organize a discussion between actors that are geographically widely dispersed, to select the right student, to introduce the student to the company and the culture of the “hosting” country, etc.
During the placement the focus will be on the development skills through practical and authentic tasks. To stimulate the learning process coaching and feedback from academic and company mentors is essential. All coaching activities also have to be in line with each other. Virtual mobility can be used in this phase to execute tasks for a company at a distance, for mentoring the student by academic or company staff, to organize peer feedback, or to stimulate student reflection.
In the ‘after’ phase evaluation is the central theme. Virtual mobility can come in useful here to discuss student assessment or evaluation of the placement or to make a final assessment of the student’s performance based on an archived use of collaboration or reflection tools.
The EU-VIP project (http://www.euvip.eu) looked into the success factors when integrating virtual mobility in internships. This project is currently being followed up in the PROVIP project (http://www.provip.info) which focuses in particular on creating structural links between European higher education institutions and companies to facilitate virtual internships.
@InProceedings{VRIENS2013MAK,
author = {Vriens, M. and Op de Beeck, I. and Van Petegem, W.},
title = {MAKE IT WORK! INTEGRATING VIRTUAL MOBILITY IN INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5521-5527}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Vriens AU - I. Op de Beeck AU - W. Van Petegem
TI - MAKE IT WORK! INTEGRATING VIRTUAL MOBILITY IN INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 5521
EP - 5527
ER -
M. Vriens, I. Op de Beeck, W. Van Petegem (2013) MAKE IT WORK! INTEGRATING VIRTUAL MOBILITY IN INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 5521-5527.
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