Gears and Internship Mechanism

Apply: Internship Program

Open SUNY Online Teaching/UAlbany CDIT Internship Program

Open SUNY and the SUNY Albany department of Education Theory and Practice (ETAP) have partnered to offer their Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology (CDIT) program students a 3-credit internship opportunity with the Open SUNY Online Teaching Team.

Interested UAlbany ETAP students should contact for more information on this program.

Applicants for the internship program must be recommended by the UAlbany ETAP department and be students in good standing within the department.

Application for this internship program requires:

  1. A resume.
  2. References.
  3. A goals and expectations statement for the internship.
  4. An interview.

ETAP’s objective is to enhance the appeal of their CDIT program with an opportunity to complete an internship with Open SUNY Online Teaching, a well-known, award-winning, internationally respected online teaching and learning program. The CDIT program becomes more attractive to their current and prospective students with an experiential learning opportunity – where the program can offer them an opportunity to apply theoretical skills in the real world.

An internship with Open SUNY Online Teaching would have significant appeal from the student perspective. This includes an opportunity to demonstrate to potential future employers that they have some related experience in the support of online faculty in higher education, a common prerequisite for positions in the field.


Internship: 3-credits in the CDIT program.

*Hours/timeframe/location:*10 hours per week, with one day in the Open SUNY office on the UAlbany semester calendar, August – December and January – May. (Summer hours for the internship can be arranged.)

Short term: interns are nominated by UAlbany for participation in the program.
Long term: a more competitive program can be developed where Open SUNY Online Teaching develops specific objectives based on current needs where Interns apply for specific internship projects.

Open SUNY Online Teaching internship program admin and mentor (supervisor): Alexandra Pickett and Rob Piorkowski.

Physical location: Collaboration space desk.

UAlbany contact: Peter Shea is the UAlbany internship admin and advisor and Open SUNY Online Teaching liaison.

The intern will:

  1. Propose the learning objectives for the internship, or review the Open SUNY Online Teaching list of projects/activities.
  2. Be required to keep an internship reflections blog documenting experiences and learning.
  3. Produce a final written report on lessons learned from the internship experience.
  4. Provide suggestions to improve the internship program for Open SUNY Online Teaching.
  5. Produce a comment about the internship experience for the Open SUNY Online Teaching internship web page.

Metrics for UAlbany’s success of the internship program will be:

  1. The intern’s self-assessment and written report.
  2. Open SUNY Online Teaching’s report and satisfaction with the intern.
  3. Increased interest in the program due to the internship opportunity (applicant self reports; increase in applications).
  4. Interns report greater success in getting interviews and/or getting hired due to completion of internship (intern self report).

Metrics for Open SUNY Online Teaching’s success of the internship program will be:

  1. Intern’s contribution to the education team.
  2. Enhanced productivity of the team (additional useful work is completed)
  3. Increased ability to serve the needs of the campuses (because work is completed more efficiently or additional services can be provided, e.g. course reviews etc.)
  4. Intern’s, UAlbany, and staff satisfaction with the program.
  5. Ease of supervision of the intern.

The proposed internship benefits CDIT, Open SUNY Online Teaching, and the intern in several ways:


Benefit to UAlbany

  • Enhances attractiveness of UA academic programs.
  • Increases the usefulness of the academic program.
  • Helps the department maintain and grow enrollments.
  • Creates a pool of more competitive applicants to the program.
  • Keeps the program relevant in the face of changing teacher certification requirements.


Benefit to Students:

  • Provides a bridge between theory and practice, creating a significant opportunity to apply what they have learned in their program.
  • Provides the opportunity to gain practical experience in the real world.
  • Results in experience that can assist students with their employability after graduation.


Benefit to Open SUNY:

  • Access to a resource for entry-level work, freeing professional staff for higher-level work and projects.
  • We assist in the development of a cadre of graduates ready to for the entry-level workforce in ID positions (in Open SUNY and SUNY wide).
  • Gives us the opportunity to offer entry-level supervision and program management experiences to internal staff.
  • Gives us the ability to enhance our services to campuses, by for example, providing us with an additional resource that can create instructional videos and written documentation, or participate in OSCQR online course reviews.

 Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Experience teaching.
  2. Experience training.
  3. Interest in online teaching and training.
  4. Interest in online instructional design.
  5. Completed ETAP 640 – introduction to online teaching.

Open SUNY Online Teaching Internship Program Overview

Open SUNY Online Teaching and UAlbany Education Department Internship program’s mission is to:

  1. Provide graduate students from the UAlbany CDIT program the opportunity to gain real world experience in our award winning online teaching and learning faculty development program.
  2. Create a program that contributes to the development of a qualified entry-level workforce pool of online instructional designers, technologists, and faculty development and support professional staff for the education pipeline.
  3. Apply the Intern and his/her skills as a resource to assist the Open SUNY Online Teaching team in projects and initiatives to improve our support and services to campuses, faculty, and the program.

First Day: New Intern Orientation.

On the first day the Intern is met by the Open SUNY Online Teaching Internship Mentor for an overview of Open SUNY/OSOT and introduction to the office and staff. The Intern is provided with an Internship Information packet and a list of tasks for the first day.

Internship Information Packet contains:

  1. A statement that the info that they may have access to from time to time may be proprietary and it not to be shared outside the organization. Intern must sign.
  2. A statement about computer and resources use. Intern must sign.
  3. Overview materials about Open SUNY Online Teaching.
  4. Organization documentation: org chart, phone numbers, map of office with key points (i.e., restrooms, cafeteria, refrigerator, smoking area, parking, printers, fax machine, etc.)
  5. List of URLs and access to online areas relevant to the internship projects (i.e., Workplace, COTEhub, NING, Bb, etc.)
  6. Calendar of relevant events/activities.


  1. Review the list of projects and initiatives and develop specific measurable and achievable learning objectives based on selected projects for the internship period.
  2. Write a job description based on the learning objectives, including the skills they will need to be successful in the internship position.
  3. Meet with internship program mentor to review objectives, goals, and how the intern will be evaluated.

Open SUNY Online Teaching Intern Orientation Checklist


______ Introduce Open SUNY/OSOT’s websites

______ Review specifically our Philosophy, Identity, Mission & Values


______ Cover the roles of the managers

______ Roles of major operating departments

______ Describe how the program and departments fits into the flow of value to the campuses

______ Describe how the intern fits into the flow of value

______ Identify names, locations and roles of all Open SUNY team managers

______ Provide current phone list with operating instructions

______ Provide names of education team members with whom the intern will deal


______ Review frequency and next review date

______ Obtain signed Privacy and Computer use Agreement

______ Review Open SUNY policies in detail


______ Reporting relationships

______ Office hours (starting and ending)

______ Lunch hours (and who can be away at the same time)

______ Call-in procedure if unable to be at work

______ Personal phone call procedures

______ Internet Policy

______ Breaks

______ Dress Code

______ Other office rules/policies (smoking, radios, etc.)


______ Introduction to all staff members (explain what each does, length of service, etc.)

______ Location of rest rooms

______ Location of coffee, soft drinks, lunchroom, etc. as appropriate

______ Location of emergency exits & emergency equipment (fire extinguishers, first aid)

______ Location of supplies & common equipment (printers, copier, fax, etc.)

______ Office ID cards and building security


______ Review Open SUNY Online Teaching events, initiatives schedule, opportunities, timing, logistics

______ Location of training/reference materials

______ Review aspects of the physical work area

______ Operating/Access instructions for any equipment, software, etc.

______ Whom to ask for the usual kinds of questions for the position (mentor)

How the Intern will be evaluated

First Month:

Three key areas of concern: 1) Identify notable behaviors when performing job duties. 2) What is the general sense of Intern’s work ethic? 3) Gauge efficiency of duties performed.

Depending on the Intern’s performance, provide feedback to Intern on these three key areas. If performance has been generally good, a general overview of performance should suffice, however negative behaviors and low performance skills should be identified and discussed. Offer additional skills training if necessary.

Second Month – (see attachment for description of each skill)

Perform a short evaluation using the scale 1) strong competency; 2) adequate progress; 3)

lacks competency. The skills to rank are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Coping
  • Responsiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Diligence
  • Relationship Building

Third Month

Conduct a feedback / question and answer session with the Intern. Intern should be encouraged to discuss what areas of work are appealing. Discuss pros and cons.

What does he / she like and not like? (Open discussion)

Last Day of Internship

Conduct an exit interview. Do this either prior to the student leaving or via an online survey, within a few days of leaving.

(What did you learn, what did you like best, what did you like least, how can we improve this program. Anything else?)

Adapted from “Elements of a Successful Internship Program” by The Human Resource Management Association of Kansas City College Relations Committee 2007.


Second Month Skills List

Attention to Detail

-Has attained appropriate job knowledge

-Assembles and provides complete & accurate information

-Is thorough when checking for accuracy

-Keeps track of details even when under pressure

-Prioritizes & organizes workload

-Produces error-free work

Service Orientation

-Determines needs, concerns, & questions

-Delivers on commitments, or strives to meet/exceed expectations

-Helps to evaluate needs & options

-Follows up with to ensure satisfaction

-Is able to make reasonable decisions


-Maturely deals with unrealistic expectations of others

-Maintains composure & positive attitude even when under pressure

-Deals appropriately with pressing demands, time delays, & deadlines

-Adjusts approach when dealing with difficult or inflexible people

-Is able to prioritize


-Responds by taking action to meet needs

-Responds quickly to minimize delays or problems

-Takes ownership for accurate & on-time completion of tasks

-Demonstrates initiative


-Seeks & acts on opportunities to assist others in achieving team goals

-Keeps work organized so other team members can fill in when necessary

-Acts as an example of enthusiasm & positive attitude

-Uses tact & understanding when dealing with internal and external staff/faculty


-Meets attendance requirements

-Has a sense of urgency about getting results

-Does everything possible to reach goals

-Is willing to commit time required to meet internship requirements

Relationship Building

-Builds credibility & rapport with others

-Initiates cooperative relationships with external & internal staff

-Asks questions to understand needs & listens well to responses

-Is accountable for commitments to team members

-Demonstrates a positive attitude

Adapted from “Elements of a Successful Internship Program” by The Human Resource Management Association of Kansas City College Relations Committee 2007.


Example list of Open SUNY Online Teaching team proposed projects and initiatives from the Fall 2010 internship program

Pedagogical/Online Instructional Designer

  1. Attend/Observe/Drive at Open SUNY Online Teaching new/returning and OSCQR trainings.
  2. Assist in the development of online materials, e.g.:
    – Produce a dynamic interactive website for online students on how to be a successful/effective online student. Incorporate elements and indicators targeting student self-regulation.
    -Produce a webinar on how online faculty can support successful/effective online students. Incorporate elements and indicators targeting student self-regulation.
    – Produce gamified course materials that faculty can incorporate into their courses that help students target/develop self-regulated learning strategies (SRLS).
  3. Enhance the Open SUNY Online Teaching survey with mechanisms to self assess social, cognitive and learner presences. ( )
  4. Create a repository of online effective practices: An examples showcase from the online courses for observation.
  5. Conduct and record scripted interviews with exemplar faculty for Open SUNY faculty spotlights and podcasts.


  1. Confluence: Assist in updating and maintaining the SLN Education content in confluence.
  2. Create learning objects on How to use the OSCQR dashboard.  And produce other Captivate training materials.
  3. ZOOM best practice/use cases templates.
  4. Develop training and materials for how to create screencast, and other uses of video for instructional purposes.

Future Possibilities

  • Assist during peek times at the HD.
  • Assist with community facilitation in the Open SUNY online networking community.
  • Assist in the development or implementation of an assessment instrument to evaluate Open SUNY Online Teaching services.
  • Assist at the Open SUNY Summit with live online interaction during the conference.

Past interns:
Ian August – SLN Intern – Fall 2013
Diane Hamilton – SLN Intern – Fall 2012
Lisa Martin – SLN Intern – Fall 2012  Blog post
Mike Fortune – SLN Intern – Fall 2010
Francisca Capponi – SLN Intern – Spring/Summer 2010
Paulina Carrasco Briones – – SLN Intern – Summer 2010



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