In response to shifts to online learning due to COVID-19 in spring 2020 and in anticipation of alternate models for higher education in fall 2020 and beyond, we have curated publications and online resources that can help inform programmatic and faculty/staff decisions about facilitating mentored internships and other forms of work-integrated learning during a pandemic.

Regardless of the medium for mentoring and for engaging students in internships, existing scholarship offers good practices in high-impact internships. These concrete strategies offer a stable foundation as interns, their site supervisors, and their mentors adapt to online or hybrid/flex models.

Internationally, scholars often study internships under the broader umbrella of work-integrated learning, so we include publications that use that nomenclature, recognizing that some practices might need slight modifications to apply specifically to internships.

The bibliography shared below will be updated as we identify additional resources. Please suggest additions in the comments or by emailing the Center’s staff at

Non-Placement Internships and Work-Integrated Learning

Jollands, Margaret. 2016. “A Non-Placement Authentic Simulated Work Integrated Learning Project for Final Year Students.” Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education: 170-175.

Jollands describes a non-placement authentic project for final-year chemical engineering students. Students were co-supervised by the course faculty and an engineer from a local company that partnered on the project. Jollands suggests that the non-placement project was as effective as work placements in building students’ confidence for work readiness.

Reyneke, Maryna, and Carolina Botha. 2020. “The Professional Orientation of First Year Student Teachers in a Non-Placement Work-Integrated Learning Program.” International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning 21 (3): 303-316.

Reyneke and Botha describe a non-placement professional orientation program for first-year students, in lieu of a school placement. In addition to sharing results from their study of the program, the authors offer recommendations for other non-placement work-integrated learning.

Richmond, Kelli, Kieva Richards, and Kellie Britt. 2015. “The Impact of an Authentic, Simulated Learning Activity on Student Preparedness for Work-Integrated Learning.” Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education 16 (4): 343-354.

This study examines students’ perceptions of preparedness for subsequent work-integrated learning following participation in a simulation study. Although the study focused on simulated learning in occupational therapy, the article’s examples of simulations could inspire adaptations for other disciplines.

Smith, Shamus, Kim Maund, Trevor Hilaire, Thayaparan Gajendran, Joy Lyneham, and Sara Geale. 2020. “Enhancing discipline specific skills using a virtual environment built with gaming technology.” International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning 21 (3): 193-209.

The authors describing gaming simulations used to practice skills in Construction Management and in Nursing & Midwifery. The authors note that simulated work environments help mentors provide equitable experiences for students using mixed mode delivery and can reduce risks associated with hazardous environments. In addition to presenting an interesting case study, the authors provide a helpful literature review on simulations for work-integrated learning.

On-Campus Models for Internships and Work-Integrated Learning

Fleischmann, Katja. 2015. “Developing On-Campus Work-Integrated Learning Activities: The Value of Integrating Community and Industry Partners into the Creative Arts Curriculum.” Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education 16 (1): 25-38.

Drawing from a rich literature review, this article examines on-campus work-integrated learning opportunities for creative arts students. The author also reports on a two-year trial of on-campus activities and examines whether they were “viable alternatives to work placements, specifically to the extent that students had the opportunity to gain insight into industry realities and forms of practice” (p. 30). Students preferred opportunities to work with real clients, rather than fictional clients, as part of on-campus activities, and valued feedback from the industry partners who served as clients.

Truman, Kiru, Roger B. Mason, and Petrus Venter. 2017. “A Model to Operate an On-Campus Retail Store for Workplace Experiential Learning.” Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education 18 (1): 43-57.

The authors describe the implementation of a retail store at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. The store functioned as a work-integrated learning site in a business curriculum, and its design was informed by survey research with retailers and with lecturers in the program. The authors include an analysis of the benefits and challenges associated with four models for an on-campus store designed for work-integrated learning.