The potential of computer-mediated internships for higher education

Bayerlein, Leopold and Jeske, Debora (2018) The potential of computer-mediated internships for higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 32 (4). pp. 526-537. ISSN 0951-354X



The purpose of this paper is to discuss the opportunities and limitations of computer-mediated internships (CMIs) for higher education providers (HEPs) and to outline how HEPs may maximize the benefits that arise from CMIs through strategic choices.

The paper provides a systematic assessment of the benefits, opportunities and limitations of CMIs. A particular focus of the paper concerns ways in which HEPs may utilize CMIs to maximize student learning as well as institutional benefits in terms of the use of expertise, collaborations and the achievement of institutional targets.

Benefits of CMIs include the more inclusive access of previously disadvantaged student groups to internship opportunities, as well as fewer restrictions for HEPs and employers. Given the right design, CMIs can provide a number of important learning opportunities to students while providing extensive opportunities for HEPs. However, the benefits of CMIs need to be viewed in line with the challenges that arise, such as the skill and expertise required to implement CMIs, the required investment of resources, and the currently limited acceptance of CMIs by employers.
Practical implications

The findings of the paper highlight that CMIs have the potential to be highly beneficial for HEPs and students. In addition, the paper showcases how HEPs may address the limitations of traditional internships, as well as the challenges that arise in relation to CMIs, through the systematic and well supported application of technological solutions.

The paper makes an important contribution to the literature because it is the first to evaluate the potential of CMIs for the providers of higher education programs.

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