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Internship Parner Frequently Asked Questions

A core element of the Delta Internship Program is the relationship that is built between the intern and his or her partner, which serves to advance the intern's training as a future faculty member. Sometimes interns select their partners based on past relationships, connections, and research interests. But oftentimes, current faculty and instructional staff members approach the Delta Program looking for interns to work with them to further define a problem in teaching and learning, implement a solution, and assess its effectiveness for improving learning.

Interns provide a valuable resource to partners. In addition to being experts in their fields of study, interns are enthusiastic colleagues with new ideas about teaching and learning. Working with an intern is an opportunity to build connections and ultimately make a difference in the professional development of a future member of the faculty.

As a partner, you will be asked to:

  • Actively engage in defining the teaching-as-research problem and creating solutions through ideas, feedback, etc.
  • Provide support, guidance, and constructive criticism as the project is being implemented
  • Decide with the intern how often to meet to discuss progress
Become an Internship Partner Today!

If you would like to volunteer to serve as an internship partner, or if you have a current or upcoming project for which you would like to partner with a Delta intern, please e-mail Devin Wixon at wixon@wisc.edu or complete the interested faculty partner survey HERE.

Still have questions? Contact the Internship Program at internship@delta.wisc.edu.

What is the Delta Internship Program?

Each semester, the Delta Internship Program supports a new cohort of graduate students and post-docs who partner with faculty and staff to improve teaching practices and learning environments through evidence-based teaching projects. Interns develop, implement, and evaluate interventions to improve student learning in your classroom, lab, outreach program or other venue.

 

Interns provide a valuable resource to partners as they connect with the education literature and the ideas of their cohort. In addition to being experts in their fields of study, interns are enthusiastic colleagues with new ideas.

 

You might find it valuable to skim existing internship opportunities at http://delta.wisc.edu/Internship/opportunities.html, and you can complete the survey at https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bQPTWStNRI2quP3 to indicate your interest and start shaping an internship project. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Devin at internship@delta.wisc.edu. Thanks!

What would my role be as a faculty partner?

The faculty partner (you) provides support, guidance, and constructive feedback on the project proposal, implementation and findings of evidence of student learning. Internship projects can be a one-to-one match with faculty/staff partners, or several interns can work on a project as a team.

What kind of projects work well?

The internship program is open-ended as far as the nature of projects. We often shape an opportunity around challenges or questions that you are finding in your courses or learning environments. For example, you might be interested in strategies to address tricky concepts or persistent misconceptions, study skills or motivation/interest.

 

Projects might also be shaped around particular teaching methods you are interested in exploring, for example inquiry-based labs, using best practices to structure group work, or writing assignments with peer review. It's helpful to also keep an eye toward how interns might get teaching experience or student contact- even just observing how students engage with an intervention can be helpful.
What is the timing of an internship, and how long does it last?

Timing: Interns write project proposals prior to their internship semester (consisting of a lit review, measurable learning outcomes, assessments to promote student learning, and activities). The intern cohort then meets weekly through the semester their project is implemented. Proposals are due in December for spring interns and August for fall interns.

Duration: Intern projects are highly variable, and depend on the goals of the intern and their faculty partner. Most last one semester, while others are year-long or start as one semester and then continue for several and turn into a publication or conference poster presentation.

How are interns found and matched with projects?

The program is open to all graduate students and post-docs who have completed one course in teaching and learning (local and online options are available), as the internship is a chance to apply that learning.

 

Open projects can be viewed on our website at any time (you can see opportunities here). We hold 'project shopping' workshops to explore these opportunities in April (for fall projects) and October (for spring projects).

 

The typical process is to shape some text about the project by emailing Devin or completing the survey here. Once we’ve finalized the text, Delta will post your opportunity on our website and market it to potential interns. The faculty partner (you) often spreads the word about the project within your lab / department / related departments, which can be the most efficient way to find a great intern. For those graduate students/post-docs who haven't yet completed the prerequisite course in teaching and learning, you might spread the word in summer for a spring opportunity so potential interns could take a fall course, or those looking at a fall internship might take a course in spring or summer.

What do you need to know to shape an opportunity?
The survey here has questions toward shaping an opportunity. If you want to go the survey route (I'm also happy to shape a project via email, or over coffee), I will use your responses to draft some text for your feedback. Faculty and instructional staff members can indicate openness to being contacted by an interested potential intern, or shape a more defined project opportunity. It might be valuable to get a flavor of project ideas by reading the open opportunities here.
Do I need to pay an intern- and how much time do they commit?

Most internships are not funded. We estimate 3-5 hours per week, all told- but some interns choose more in-depth projects that require a higher time commitment. Some projects have a chunk of time in preparation, a brief chunk during the intervention, then another chunk of time for data analysis, while others are more continuous through the semester. The key is to ensure your and the intern have discussed and aligned expectations about responsibilities and time, including meetings with you and roles with students, before the project gets started.