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Assessing Internship and Industrial Placement

Please cite as follows: Chan, CKY (2015). "Assessing Internship and Industrial Placement", Engineering Education Enhancement and Research Asia (E3R Asia).


What is Portfolio?

Portfolio is a compilation of documentation of a student’s past achievements. In the context of internship/placement, portfolio often includes students’ major pieces of work, feedback from their supervisor/industrial tutor, and their own reflective analysis. A complete and well-organized portfolio can show a student’s development and learning progress in internship/placement.


Example 1:  Internship at the Australian National University

In assessing students’ learning outcomes of their engineering internships, The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science (n.d.) has adapted portfolio – e-Portfolio – as one of the assessment items. This e-Portfolio requires students to keep a reflective journal of tasks and experiences over the course of their internships. The journal entries include written reflections and documentary media such as photographs, diagrams, videos, audio files etc., as evidence of their internship experience.

Example 2:  Internship at the Pennsylvania State University

In their Energy and Mineral Engineering internship program, The Pennsylvania State University (2011) incorporates portfolio as one of the standard assessment methods (65% of the overall assessment). Students are expected to develop their portfolio throughout the semester and grades will be given based on the organization, presentation, and completeness and authenticity of record of their portfolio. Contents of portfolio may include the following:

  • A title page including student name, semester, sponsoring organization, and sponsor (supervisor);
  • Introduction (400 to 800 words) – the student’s academic and work background, interests, and basis for internship;
  • Description of the sponsoring entity (400 to 800 words) – background of the sponsoring entity and its organization, products and services offered, markets served, locations, size of company, company’s history;
  • Description of internship job (400 to 800 words) – the student’s tasks and responsibilities, and professional interactions within and external to the host organization;
  • Students’ reflections on overall internship experience;
  • Samples of internship work – artifacts demonstrating learning experiences and outcomes. (Each artifact must be annotated with date, description, purpose, audience, and students’ roles in creating the artifact.);
  • All journal entries during internship;
  • Glossary of terms related to internship experience;
  • A bibliography of resources – texts, references, documents, and websites used during the internship;
  • Contact information for organizations and personnel involved;
  • A current updated resume.