Preparing Your Students to Work with a Remote Partner

  1. Ask your students what their concerns are about remote/online experiential learning well before beginning. This can be done in a discussion or anonymous survey. Then address the concerns.
  2. Ensure technology is not a barrier to student participation. Investigate and help students resolve issues before the start of the project or internship. One way of checking students' needs is by asking them to complete a Tech Check-in questionnaire.
  3. Find out what technology students will need to interact with the industry/community partner (ex. teamwork apps, Zoom, teams, etc.) and direct the students to the appropriate resources to learn the tech before they start. Besides directing students to the resources in the Help for Students list, you can also direct students to LinkedIn Learning. Don’t assume a student knows how to communicate over Zoom, or whatever tool the company/partner uses (ensure all project descriptions or placement job descriptions identify all platforms and technology required by the partner).
  4. Help prepare the students for virtual communication, including workplace and virtual classroom online etiquette. 
  5. Set out clear timelines and check-in dates. Set up frequent check-ins in the first couple of weeks and gradually lessen the placement or project check-ins. Set aside time for questions, discussions, etc.
  6. Communicate with your students and then communicate some more.

Specifically for internships and placements:

  1. For remote internships and placements, there are specific concerns that should be addressed at the start of the term. 
  2. Share with internship/placement students Tips for Working at Home and How to make the most of a virtual internship.
  3. Your partners are important in the preparation of your students.
    1. Share with your partners Tips for Onboarding Students Remotely and Tips for Supervising Students Remotely
    2. Request the student be given a "buddy" to contact when the supervisor/mentor is unavailable for questions.  
    3. Encourage the employer to create a remote internship "handbook" for the student that the student can help improve during the internship. This could include check-in point expectations, evaluations, and week to week action plans.