Workplace learning (WPL) of students constitutes an integral part of the engineering curriculum at the Department of Electronic Engineering – Technological Educational Institute of Crete (DoEE/TEIoC). More specifically, the six months’ workplace learning duration of our students is carried out through internships between the DoEE/TEIoC and enterprises/organizations. In our economic recession times, such collaborative internships are confronted with various challenges related to pedagogical, labour market, organizational, etc. issues. The aim of the paper is to provide insights to our experience as it concerns the exploitation of practices we adopted in a social web context towards the achievement of an effective workplace learning for all parties (students, enterprises/organizations, DoE/TEIoC) involved. Emphasis will be given to students’ weblogs and podcasts in order to guarantee quality outcomes for the overall workplace learning process. Furthermore, based on data available from questionnaires filled by our students as well as by the corresponding enterprise/organization and academic supervisors, a series of internship related implications and prospects are identified and discussed.
At some point in their educations, students must learn copious amounts of information. To do this, they use a variety of well-known strategies such as study groups, note-taking services, and videotapes of lectures. In fall 2004, a group of first-year dental students at the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Dentistry asked to have all dental school lectures videotaped and recordings made available on a Web site. The students doubted their ability to accurately summarize in their notes the quantity of information presented in lectures. The students thought that reviewing a video recording of each lecture would help them better retain the biomedical information presented.
The Office of Dental Informatics is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of learning-technology activities in the school. This includes faculty development, course Web pages, research with and about learning technology, and the formative and summative evaluation of learning technology projects. The office is also responsible for the acquisition, installation, and operation of classroom and computer lab equipment.
In response to the students’ request, the Dental Informatics group applied formative evaluation strategies to determine the ultimate solution. The group determined that podcasting audio recordings of lectures provided a better technology solution for the students’ needs than the originally requested video recordings.
Article originally appeared in: “Educause Quarterly”, V. 29(2006), n.3, pp. 24-31. Reprinted with permission of the authors and the publisher.