Using Asynchronous Discussion Boards for Senior Internships

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asynchronous discussion boards, learning communities, internships


Senior internships in parks and recreation are an opportunity to put classroom knowledge to practice. However, this is likely the first time students are in a learning environment without the immediate support of faculty and peers. To alleviate this issue, online discussion boards were used to connect interns who were located across the country. Fifteen students were given six topics to discuss throughout their 12 week internship. Each topic had a minimum of two questions for students to answer pertaining to their agency and then responding to posts made by other students. The online discussion boards were designed to produce three outcomes including: provide exposure to a variety of agency approaches during the internship, provide students exposure to all topical areas, and provide students with a sense of community. The discussion allowed students to get the perspectives of 14 other agencies and students, required they address six topical areas rather than three as had been a previous practice, and the students gained valuable knowledge by both learning from and teaching their peers through a much needed support system.


This article was originally published as Hurd, A., Beggs, B. A., Elkins, D. J. (2012). Using asynchronous discussion boards for senior internships. Schole, 26(2), 46-52.