Search results

1 – 2 of 2
Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 19 February 2020

J.T. Janse van Rensburg and Roelien Goede

The purpose of this paper is to present an intervention strategy for promoting career awareness among IT students in a South African context, followed by a reflection…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an intervention strategy for promoting career awareness among IT students in a South African context, followed by a reflection thereof based on qualitative data collected from students. Career awareness during study has shown to be a factor in the work-readiness of IT graduates.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper suggests an intervention strategy aimed at promoting IT students' career awareness. It provides context of the exit-level higher education (HE) module used to implement the intervention. Career awareness is achieved by industry talks, projects and events. Interpretive data collection and content analysis are used to understand the impact of the intervention from the students' perspective.

Findings

Recommendations are made towards productive interventions for raising career awareness among IT students using industry participation in higher education. The proposed intervention comprises of a combination of industry talks, capstone projects and specific events. Students had largely positive reactions and made suggestions for additional interventions they would find beneficial. A hackathon attended proved the most influential where seven out of eight involved students received job offers from one company. Other students became aware of their own employability, limitations and preferred career paths.

Originality/value

Findings provide confirmation on existing feasible approaches and also introduces new interventions that may be generalised to other fields of study. The paper not only provides an instructional design for a module to raise career awareness but also reflects on the feedback of the students. The reflection provided by students acts as a point of reference to ensure that the process followed for the intervention is practical within a South African context. The paper highlights the perceived benefits of involving industry in higher education to raise career awareness, factors that may prevent career awareness among IT students and valuable suggestions made by students to further enhance the intervention strategy. An implication of the research is a set of guidelines identified towards bridging the IT theory–practice gap. These guidelines can be used by many educators in similar environments to justify their interventions.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Click here to view access options
Article
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Estelle Taylor, Roelien Goede and Tjaart Steyn

Acquiring computer skills is more important today than ever before, especially in a developing country. Teaching of computer skills, however, has to adapt to new…

Abstract

Purpose

Acquiring computer skills is more important today than ever before, especially in a developing country. Teaching of computer skills, however, has to adapt to new technology. This paper aims to model factors influencing the success of the learning of computer literacy by means of an e‐learning environment. The research question for this paper is: what is the relationship between the success of the teaching of computer literacy and factors such as mother tongue, the learner's favourite subject, secondary school, race, future vision, confidence, computer anxiety, prior knowledge, intellectual ability, learning styles, the learner's ability to plan and follow his or her own planning and gender?

Design/methodology/approach

The research plan combined interpretive and positivistic methods (mixed method research). Factors were identified from literature and interpretive interviews before being tested empirically and analyzed statistically, using questionnaires and biographical data from learners at a university in South Africa.

Findings

The outcome of this research is a model representing critical success factors. According to the study, the learners' results in their final school year made the biggest contribution to the success, a factor which is followed by their prior knowledge of computers, gender, future vision of computer use, computer anxiety and preference for mathematical subjects.

Research limitations/implications

The sample used in this study was not representative of the national race and language distribution of South Africa, since it was done at an Afrikaans university with fewer learners of the majority race groups. It would be interesting to conduct a similar study using a more representative group for comparison purposes.

Originality/value

The study aims to be more holistic in terms of total student experience of the module. Specific success factors were interpretively (qualitatively) identified before being measured using positivistic (quantitative) techniques. This is in contrast to similar studies where researchers used positivistic techniques to identified specific factors to verify. The method followed demonstrates the value of mixed method research by understanding the experience of specific students and then measuring the factors for the entire group of 2,500 students. The resulting model can be used to improve aspects of the module to increase the value of the module in context of the academic programme of the student.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

1 – 2 of 2