Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Computing and Information Technology
This study explores how industry internships, paired with scaffolded reflection, shape student attitudes and learning behaviors. Building upon the literature on student motivation, we seek to answer the following question: how do internships influence student attitudes towards their studies and their future approaches towards learning? Data at three critical points in a student internship (before, right after, and several months later) are used to measure the evolution of student perspectives on academics and the Tech industry. This paper uses a mixed-methods approach, where open-ended student reflections on their internship are coded and unpacked, and then compared to a statistical analysis of student responses to a survey including the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) before and after the internship experience. Students expressed overwhelmingly positive academic and industry dispositional changes. They expressed increased appreciation for the opportunities they have had and increased awareness of the importance of interpersonal relationships and life-long learning. Students spoke to specific actions and behaviors they plan to take after the internship experience, reflecting their heightened maturity and sense of direction. Additionally, the internship illuminated the importance of building interpersonal skills, exhibiting personal growth, and developing attributes of lifelong learning. In contrast to these conclusions, pre- and post-survey analysis for the MSLQ with the same group of students reveals specific areas where student motivation decreased after the internship experience. These findings point to the important formative role internships can play in an undergraduate Computer Science and Engineering program and shed light on the lessons universities can learn about leveraging student enthusiasm at the end of their internship to enhance the ensuing continuation of their academic experience.
Minnes, M., & Serslev, S. G., & Edwards, M. (2020, June), Attitude Shifts and Transformation During Computer Science and Engineering Student Internships Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34196
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