Guidelines for Practices and Principles in the Design, Operation and Evaluation of Student Field Experiences
Experiential education means learning by experience in a professional work setting. This learning is a joint undertaking of the student, faculty advisor and work supervisor and is accomplished by their cooperative efforts. Although the primary responsibility for a given aspect of field experience may rest with the student, faculty member or work supervisor, all facets of the field experience from the initial development of learning objectives to the final evaluation are a shared responsibility.
A comprehensive plan is developed before the student begins the field work, and it consists of:
In addition to the items above, the following elements must be negotiated and included in the written agreement:
Roles and Responsibilities:
Not all of the following apply or are appropriate to every field experience situation. These guidelines cover a wide range of situations and it is assumed that they will be utilized along with a large measure of good judgement and common sense to insure that field experiences will contribute to the education of future information professionals.
Students have primary responsibility for deciding what they want to learn, investigating options for the best internship in which to learn, negotiating supervision by faculty, developing a learning plan, and documenting learning as it occurs. Specifically, the student is responsible for:
The faculty member involved in a field experience has the ultimate responsibility for insuring that a student has fulfilled the terms of the learning agreement. The faculty member is specifically responsible for:
Although the student is ultimately responsible for his/her own learning, the agency supervisor has the major responsibility for insuring that a "real-world" learning experience is provided for the student. The agency setting replaces the classroom as a laboratory and the supervisor acts as the coordinator of learning. The supervisor must:
The specific responsibilities of the work supervisor include:
There are numerous methods of evaluating a student's performance in a field experience. Any combination of the following can be utilized. In any case, all assessment techniques should be noted on the learning/work agreement before the student begins the field experience. Evaluation should be based, at least in part, on the accomplishment of the learning objectives.
In addition to evaluating an individual student's performance, it is essential to obtain evaluative information from students, faculty and field supervisors about the field experience itself.
Developed by the Information Organization Heads Task Force on Internships and Field Experiences: Jane Robbins-Carter (Wisconsin-Madison); Evelyn Daniel (Syracuse); Margot McBurney (Queens University); Mary Frances Hoban (Special Libraries Association); and Timothy W. Sineath (Kentucky).
Adopted June 1983
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