Handbook for Research in Cooperative Education and Internships

Handbook for Research in Cooperative Education and Internships

Handbook for Research in Cooperative Education and Internships

Handbook for Research in Cooperative Education and Internships

Synopsis

This Handbook is designed to help cooperative education and internship professionals and employers design, carry out, and disseminate quality research and evaluation studies of work-based education. It offers examples of current, leading-edge studies about work-based education, but with a practical twist: The chapter authors frame their studies within a specific key research design issue, including finding a starting point and a theoretical framework; fitting research into one's busy practitioner workload; deciding on particular data-gathering methods and an overall methodological approach; integrating qualitative and quantitative methodologies; and disseminating results. Also addressed are questions and concerns that are relevant throughout the course of a research project: the use of theory in research; the role and relationship of program assessment to research; and ethical considerations in research. By combining descriptions of exemplary research and evaluation studies with practical advice from top researchers in the field, this volume is a useful tool for educators and employers who are designing and carrying out their own studies, as well as a resource for what current research is discovering and affirming about the field itself. Educators from other fields, such as study abroad and service-learning will also find this book an indispensable reference in conducting research on experiential learning and teaching.

Excerpt

Nearly 30 years ago, Asa Knowles and Associates edited a comprehensive handbook on cooperative education during the years of accelerated growth of cooperative education. Their work, Handbook of Cooperative Education (1971), met the fundamental need of the larger academic community of cooperative education by offering a practical guide for understanding “… its philosophy and objectives; the development and administration of its programs; its operating procedures; its relevance to special groups; and its academic, general, and financial administrative practices” (p. ix). Their work continues to be a useful resource for program development.

Although program development is still important, the field has reached a point of maturity when evaluation and assessment are the keys to establishing a more integrated position in higher education. Cooperative education and internships are at a point where research needs to become a top priority. Handbook for Research in Cooperative Education and Internships assembles outstanding recent research on work-based education and practical information about key research design issues.

The aim of this book is to help co-op and internship educators design, carry out, and disseminate quality research and evaluation studies. The handbook offers examples of current and leading-edge research and evaluation studies about work-based education, but with a practical twist: The chapter authors frame their study within a key research design issue. By combining descriptions of exemplary current research and evaluation studies with practical advise from top researchers in the field, our hope is that readers find this book to be a useful tool to design and carry out their own studies as well as a resource for what current research is discovering and affirming about the field itself. It is also our hope that experiential educa-

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