A MINIMUM VIABLE SERVICE TO FACILITATE INTERNSHIP FOR DESIGN STUDENTS
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Stafseng, Terje
Institution: NTNU, the Department of Design, Norway
Section: Industrial Involvement in Design and Engineering Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.67
Internship is an established form of teaching and learning in a variety of study programs. This paper discusses experiences and challenges in organising and implementing internship in the curriculum. It aims to understand how these internships facilitates different levels of participation in a community (legitimate), and levels of diversity, engagement, and comprehensiveness (peripheral). Learning and teaching concepts, such as Experiential Learning, Mentorship and Apprenticeship, Social Learning, etc., will be discussed in the literature review. This is to determine core criteria for measuring and assessing student´s competencies in knowledge acquisition and skills development due to participating the internship. A series of reports from the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) have investigated internship in Norwegian study programs. One statement is that internship is a quite resource demanding form of teaching. This is grounded both from study program leader, mentor and administrative point of view (Kantardjiev, 2019). Thus, on both study program level, department level, faculty level and university level, decisions need to be made regarding the extent and the role internships should take in order to balance available resources with student learning. In practice this often means that resources are limited and that teachers have to make do with minimum viable solutions. This paper poses the question on how students perceive organization and learning outcome of an internship if the resources spent by the university is based on a minimum viable service to facilitate the design students. Data is gathered from a longitudinal study in the period 2006 to 2018, where students from NTNU, the Department of Design participated in a 10 ECTS elective internship course focusing on digital media, web development and media management. A minimum viable service was used due to the lack of resources, and the student where fully responsible to establish contact with a business and make an agreement to conduct an internship. The business was responsible to provide the students with a supervisor. The main scope of the course included 180 hours of documented work in a company and a written internship report. The internship reports where content should answer to the course description and assignment criteria, have been the main data source for the study. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses have been conducted to map the level of students’ knowledge and skills. With a relation to literature, learning outcome and the course assessment criteria, categories are established, and the reports were analyzed based on the pre-defined categories. Findings from this study show that students seem to be satisfied with the organizational structure of internship. They also seem to benefit from the imposed responsibility, but there are no evidence of extended self-awareness and critical thinking. In terms of Continuity and adaptability in design and engineering education: The paper will also show how the findings have been used to include a mandatory 15 credits internship when re-building the study program Bachelor in interaction design at NTNU, the Department of Design.