Field Experience: Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities

Student

Site Supervisor

Faculty Supervisor

Field Experience Director

Field Experience Coordinator

 

STUDENT

The primary responsibility for designing and carrying out a successful Field Experience rests with the student.

Prior to beginning fieldwork, the student must:

  • Have completed INLS 200, 261, and 382 (undergraduates) or a minimum of 18 credit hours (graduate students) towards his or her program in SILS.
  • Conduct a maximum of two (2) Field Experiences (graduate students) or one (1) Field Experience (undergraduates) during his or her program in SILS.
  • Select a site that will meet your career goals, either from the list of Field Experiences from prior SILS students, or by developing your own.  Let the Career Services Coordinator know so you are assigned a faculty supervisor.
  • Develop learning objectives in consultation with your faculty supervisor that articulate the knowledge and/or skills you want to acquire during the Field Experience.
  • Develop a draft Field Experience Agreement in which you:
    • Describes the role / assignment at the site.
    • Describe how the Field Experience fits into your overall academic program, in SILS and more broadly if appropriate, and into your career goals.
    • Develop a learning contract (see the model here), in which your articulate one or more strategies to meet each learning objective, and one or more criteria for evaluating having met each objective.
    • Download the Field Experience Agreement form here.
  • Gain approval from the site supervisor for the Field Experience Agreement. Review the learning contract with the site supervisor. The site supervisor must sign the Field Experience Agreement.
  • Gain approval from the faculty supervisor for the Field Experience Agreement. Review the learning contract with the faculty supervisor. The faculty supervisor must sign the Field Experience Agreement.
  • Submit the Field Experience Agreement to the Field Experience Coordinator. The Agreement form must be completed and submitted prior to the first day of classes of the semester in which the Field Experience begins.
  • Register for INLS 795: Professional Field Experience (for graduate students) or INLS 393: Information Science Internship (for undergraduate students). Only the Field Experience Coordinator can register students for a Field Experience. 
     
During the Field Experience, students must:
  • Spend 135 hours at your site in order to fulfill the Field Experience Agreement (for a 3 credit hour experience).
  • Maintain a daily reflective work log of the experience. Students should record in this log the activities that he or she has performed, and the events in which he or she has participated at the site. Students should also record in this log his or her reflections (opinions, questions, comments, etc.) on activities and events at the site.
  • Submit a work log to the faculty supervisor after he or she has completed approximately 60 hours on site (about midway through the experience). The log will trigger the faculty supervisor to arrange a site visit (or telephone conference call) to meet with the student and the site supervisor, to review the student's progress towards his or her learning objectives.
  • Participate in the required field experience seminars, either in person or by videoconference. Three rounds of seminars will be held, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the semester, with three seminar meetings per round.  Students must attend one from each round.
  • Meet with the faculty supervisor to identify and agree upon some aspect of the Field Experience about which to write a brief reflective paper
     
At the end of the Field Experience, students must:
  • Write a 6-10 page (double spaced) reflective paper on the aspect of the Field Experience previously agreed upon with the faculty supervisor. Submit the paper to the faculty supervisor.
  • Meet with the site supervisor to review the evaluation of his or her performance.
  • Meet with the faculty supervisor to review the reflective paper and your overall experience at the site.
  • Complete a Student Field Experience Evaluation form and submit it to the Field Experience Coordinator. Download the Student Field Experience Evaluation on the Forms page. 
     

SITE SUPERVISOR

In agreeing to take on this role, the site supervisor takes on responsibility for providing the student with a professional work experience and for mentoring the student in professional development. The site supervisor will facilitate and provide feedback on the student's learning and skill development. Specifically, the site supervisor:

  • Agrees to work with the student.  Potential site supervisors have the right to reject an applicant. The organization may require that students complete an application process before selection.
  • Works with the student to develop the Field Experience Agreement by helping to develop learning objectives; identifying areas, projects, and activities at the site that are appropriate for student involvement; and ensuring that the Agreement details the nature, rationale, methodology, responsibilities, and criteria for evaluation for the work that the student will do.
  • Makes necessary arrangements with the site. This includes alerting co-workers and other appropriate personnel, and providing you with any necessary space, equipment, and supplies.
  • Orient you to the site, its physical layout, organizational structure, clientele, and services offered.
  • Meet with you during your Field Experience as necessary for review and discussion.
  • Communicate with your faculty supervisor on your progress.
  • Complete a written evaluation form provided by the School at the end of the Field Experience, and meet with you to review the final evaluation.
  • Contact your faculty supervisor or the Field Experience Coordinator if any questions or problems arise.

If you are a site supervisor interested in hosting a SILS student through an internship at your site, please fill out the New Site Form!

For helpful tips on running a smooth Field Experience, please refer to the ALISE Guidlines for Practices and Principles in the Design, Operation, and Evaluation of Student Field Experiences.

 

FACULTY SUPERVISOR

In agreeing to take on this role, the faculty supervisor takes on responsibility for acting as the link between the School and the Field Experience site. Faculty supervisors are full time faculty members within SILS.  Specifically, the faculty supervisor:

  • Reviews and approves the Field Experience Agreement.
  • Reviews the reflective work log, submitted upon completion of 60 hours on site.
  • At the approximate midway point of your Field Experience, schedule a meeting (or telephone conference call) with you and your site supervisor to learn more about the site and the student's activities there.
  • Continues to monitor your progress and remains alert for possible problems requiring intervention.
  • Approves the topic and scope of your proposed reflective paper.
  • At the conclusion of the Field Experience, meets with the student to:
    • provide feedback on the reflective paper,
    • review the site supervisor's evaluation, and
    • discuss the overall experience relative to the learning objectives.
  • Signs the evaluation form certifying that you have completed all requirements and recommending a P, L, or F grade. Turns in the form to the Field Experience Coordinator.

 

CAREER SERVICES COORDINATOR

The Career Services Coordinator is the nominal instructor of INLS 393 and INLS 795, the Field Experience courses, as well as:

  • Serves as a clearinghouse for potential fieldwork sites. This involves contacting potential and prior sites to solicit their participation in the Field Experience program, and serving as the point of contact for organizations seeking students.
  • Serves as the point of contact within the School for information about the Field Experience program. Responds to questions about policies and procedures.
  • Facilitates the process of matching students with sites, and students with faculty supervisors.
  • Recommends changes in policies and procedures as needed to the faculty. 

FIELD EXPERIENCE COORDINATOR

The Field Experience Coordinator administers the Field Experience program. The Coordinator's responsibility is to be the point of contact for students and faculty supervisors, and to ensure that Field Experiences proceed smoothly for the School and the students. The Coordinator:

  • Maintains records on sites and site supervisors, student placements, faculty supervisors, Field Experience Agreements, site and student evaluations, and grade submissions.
  • Maintains contact information about sites and site supervisors.
  • Maintains the Field Experience website