Degree of fit: University students in paid employment, service delivery and technology
AbstractThis study examines the ease of, and proficiency in, accessing web based technology, and the convenience (or otherwise) of service delivery in the facilitation of combining study with paid work for undergraduate students of James Cook University (JCU), Cairns Campus, Far North Queensland. Considering that the typical new millennium student is enrolled full time and works 18 hours per week, when 40% of the sample (n=148) believes that, overall, the university does not cater well to students in paid employment, alarms must sound. These are consumers who work to study, then study to improve their work prospects, and they comprise approximately 50% of the Cairns Campus student population (2,625, from May 2005 census). Further, about one quarter of the students surveyed admit to barely coping with the technological requirements of being a university student 9 weeks into a 13-week semester. The conclusions here are serious, that JCU (at the very least) requires more effective means and media to cater for the needs of a growing number of students, both part time and full time, in paid employment. Ways to improve the degree of fit between the academy and working students, between students and technology, and between delivery of services and student uptake are suggested.
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