… by Rebecca / from Lincoln / BSc Mathematics [2nd Year Entry] / 3rd Year (UG)
If a lecturer can see that only 5% of the students on their course read their assessment feedback, then should staff bother to write it for every student?
Or, if a lecturer can see that one of their lecture recordings has had far more views than the others, might they want to find out why that is? Was the content of the lecture too difficult?
Answering these kinds of questions was the purpose of the internship I did last summer. The University provides around 60 summer internships based at the university, exclusively for Edinburgh students, called Employ.ed on Campus internships. My internship was one of these; I worked in the School of Health in Social Science as a Learning Analytics Intern.
What is Learning Analytics?
Learning Analytics is the process of collecting and analysing data about the way students learn and engage with their courses. Lecturers at the university have access to a huge amount of data at a course and individual student level which they can use to improve future teaching and support students more effectively.
What did I do on the internship?
A large part of my internship involved meeting with members of staff in a variety of roles in the School to understand how Learning Analytics are being used. I found that most staff didn’t understand how to use it, so I created a Learning Analytics guide.
Benefits to doing an Employ.ed on Campus internship
- You get paid a salary and have set times of work (typically 9am-5pm Monday-Friday), so you get the chance to try ‘real’ full-time work in the familiar environment of the University.
- There were 60 students completing Employ.ed on Campus internships at the same time as me, so I got to meet people that I might not have done otherwise. We had social events and there was a group of us working at the Central Campus that always had lunch together.
- It can be hard to find internships when you’re not in the penultimate year of your degree as this is required for many corporate internships, so the Employ.ed internships are a great way to still get employment without having to do part-time shift work.
Would I recommend Employ.ed internships to new students at the university?
Yes! I would really recommend doing an Employ.ed on Campus Internship during one summer of your degree, especially if you’re not sure what you want to do after graduation, or you want to get some employment experience. Even if you decide afterwards that you never want to do that kind of work again, you will still have benefited so much from all the experiences you had.