Vol. 30 No. 2 (2015)
Research Articles

Impacts of a Redesigned Virtual Internship Program on Preservice Teachers’ Skills and Attitudes

Nell Faucette
University of South Florida
Peg Nugent
Argosy University Online
Published December 7, 2015
  • Online teaching,
  • constructivist teaching,
  • virtual internships,
  • online teacher education,
  • constructivist learning
How to Cite
Faucette, N., & Nugent, P. (2015). Impacts of a Redesigned Virtual Internship Program on Preservice Teachers’ Skills and Attitudes. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 30(2). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/945


An important issue in teacher education is how to design and implement effective virtual internships for future educators. Today, these experiences should reflect best practices (as found in more traditional programs) by infusing constructivist values and strategies into the process. Interns can develop needed content knowledge and delivery skills through active learning in authentic, real-world environments. In this study, teacher specialists redesigned a virtual internship for senior physical education majors after evaluating a prior program considered inadequate (due to poor student outcomes and satisfaction levels). Using the literature, the specialists redesigned the experience to reflect constructivist assumptions during a summer orientation seminar and fall internship. Eight of 16 interns volunteered to participate in the research project to identify changes in their attitudes and expectations for the internship. During the summer seminar, interns served as curricular evaluation teams to review, analyze, and reconstruct the course they would be delivering to high school students. During the fall internship, pairs of interns met twice weekly with cooperating teachers. Using a web-conferencing program, they experienced authentic learning featured in these sessions. Results indicated that, after these experiences, interns felt more knowledgeable, capable, and enthusiastic about online teaching. 


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