The Corona pandemic has ensured that many students have had to complete their internships at a distance. The format of the distance internship is new in many places and brings with it many challenges that have to be overcome by the target groups involved. The EPIDI project ("European Partnership for Innovation in Distant Internships") is concerned with the framework conditions and competencies required for this. In order to be able to deal successfully with the changes in the way of working and in the workplace, best practice recommendations and e-learning modules for distant internships at universities are to be developed in the project.
Three partners of the EPICUR Alliance, the University of Strasbourg, the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), have joined forces in the EPIDI project to jointly formulate guiding principles and recommendations for distance learning internships and to contribute to making them an enriching experience for all involved.
Stakeholders include students, employers, and academic and administrative staff at universities who accompany or arrange distance learning placements. The four target groups focused on in the project were asked about their experiences with the special form of distance internship in a European survey between May and October 2021. The survey, with more than 390 responses and 45 individual interviews, provided the basis for the Best Practice Guide, which collects valuable tips and information on how to successfully manage and supervise distance internships.
In a next step, the results will be transferred into e-learning modules that will help the different target groups to identify obstacles in coping with distance internships and to apply solutions for typical challenges. In addition to units on overarching focal points such as work-life balance and soft skills in distance internships, modules will be created on the specific processes and requirements in the context of distance internships at the participating universities. The e-learning modules will be made available as a public resource (OER) on the project homepage.