Internship Reflection 1
Joanne A. Jeuch
University of Louisville
Internship Reflection 2
When I began this Program back in the Fall of 1999, the internship seemed like a
far off land that I would never visit. When the reality of it came upon me this year, I was
baffled by what I would choose as a topic. I am not currently part of the traditional work
force, so using my current employer as a source for the project was not an option
available to me. I decided to just forge ahead with my classes and keep my eyes and ears
open for an opportunity.
Working with my advisor, Dr. Rude-Parkins, and Hardy MacKenzie, my
instructor for EDTD 675 and 676, we came upon an ideal solution. I would have to say
that 675 and 676 were definitely at the top of my list of favorite courses in this program.
I enjoyed the pairing of the technical development tools and delivery systems with the
traditional curriculum development. EDTD 676 is slated to be offered online in the
Spring 2004 semester, so my project was to begin the development for its online launch.
Since completing the entire semester’s course was well beyond the scope of such an
internship, we were able to come up with a way to take just a portion of the development
work for the internship. This segment could then be passed back to Mr. MacKenzie to be
a part of what will eventually be the on-line offering of EDTD 676 for the Spring.
The internship project was initially defined as the completion of the first two
modules of what will be the EDTD 676 online course. The goal was to have a rich online
experience for the learners – not just text to read from a screen. Because EDTD 676
teaches the use of Macromedia Flash as a development tool, it was chosen as the tool to
create the course content. In this way, we would be showing the students an example of
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just want could be accomplished with only one semester of experience with the tool.
Before beginning the development on the modules, the overall infrastructure for
the course had to be determined. We chose to have a brief introduction to showcase a
little bit of what can be done with Flash animation. The largest piece of upfront
infrastructure work, however, was the menu. In support of what Driscoll (2002)
considers to be one of the necessities for quality online learning, we opted for a non-
linear menu structure. Of course, there is a logical sequence to the coursework, but the
student is not bound to move only from A to B to C, etc. The student can proceed step-
by-step through the training, or they can select any module and/or subsection from the
menu. This way, the student can elect to look ahead, or to completely skip sections that
cover content in which they are already proficient. This also facilitates the review of
topics that have already been covered.
The first module is the Introduction, and covers the basics of the training
environment, Flash as a development tool for e-learning, and the Flash environment. The
second module covers tweening, the first and most basic type of Flash animation.
As I already mentioned, this project was an ideal fit for me because of my primary
job as a stay-at-home mother. However, the self-paced nature of this project that makes
it so ideal for me, is the same thing that makes it a less than perfect reflection of the real
world. The real world of curriculum and course development would likely involve a
multi-person team, with more collaboration and division of labor to specialists (graphic
designers, curriculum experts, etc.) Although I was distinctly aware of this deviation
from what I believe would be a real world experience, I do not feel that this was a
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detriment to my learning. In my work as an engineer, I was often part of such multi-
person development teams. While, during my engineering experiences, the item under
development was not an online learning course, the basic principles of working with a
team of specialists remains the same.
Because this project involved the partial development of EDTD 676 online, it has
been especially important to maintain good communication with Hardy MacKenzie, since
he will ultimately be completing the work for launch in Spring 2004. At times, this was a
source of frustration, simply because our schedules were both very hectic, making it
difficult to find times to discuss content, structure and overall direction. That said, I
suspect that this type of communication issue is fairly commonplace in real world course
development and so, was also a good learning experience.
There was one unexpected area of learning that was covered during this internship
project. After about 25 hours of work on the introduction animations and menu structure,
my computer suffered an irrecoverable hard drive failure. When I went to retrieve my
back up files, I found that they were corrupt (something for which I have not yet
identified the root cause). All that I was able to recover was the SWF file that I had sent
to Hardy for his review several days before the hard drive crash. This lead to extensive
research on hard drive recovery options and SWF decomplier programs. Of course, this
was not an enjoyable experience, but looking back, I can say that I certainly learned a lot.
I was able to recover at least some of my work using the decomplier, and my computer
now has automated back-ups and mirrored hard drives.
As a culminating program experience, this was excellent. At the start, I thought
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that I would really only be using what I had learned in EDTD 512, 672 and 676;
however, I found that I drew something from almost every single course that I had taken
over my four years in the program. That simple fact alone, by my definition, makes this a
I find myself comparing this experience to my senior design course when I was
completing my engineering degree. My culminating engineering experience was as
invaluable as this one, however my engineering experience taught me that I did not want
to do traditional electrical engineering design after graduation. I learned that I would
rather be in a support role near the design work, but not actually a part of it. This
experience, on the other hand, taught me that not only would I like to do this type of work
in the field, but that I enjoy it and will most likely be successful at it. Both experiences
offered key insights into my future career choices, but this experience was by far a more
My ultimate goal since I began this program, has been to blend my technical
engineering experience with this new exposure to education and instructional design. I
have found that the two fields, while appearing so disparate at the start, are truly
complementary. The program management and team collaboration experiences from my
engineering career have meshed well with the new skills I have obtained during this
program. Even though I felt my internship lacked in the areas of real world team
collaboration and management, I can apply my past experiences in this area for a positive
and rewarding experience overall.
At this point in my life and my career, I do not expect to be entering the
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curriculum development arena as a full-time contributor in the near future. However, I so
thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience that I would welcome the opportunity to
apply what I have learned in a part-time or consultant-based role.
The Internship Reflection is an interesting exercise. It is not often that we
complete a project and then reflect on what we learned from it. Too often, we just run
from one project to another and never really stop to think about why we did what we did
or what we might do differently the next time. While I cannot say that I would write a
full reflection paper after every project I complete in the future, I can definitely see the
benefit to asking myself some key questions about each experience. It is only in
questioning ourselves and our motivations, that we can truly be life long learners.
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Driscoll, M. (2002). Web-Based Training: Creating E-Learning Experiences (2nd ed.).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.