Manning, Gerard J. (1999) A Web-based orientation package for Co-operative Education students at College of the North Atlantic. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The dissemination of information to students in today's post-secondary education system is important, yet is becoming an increasing challenge for institutions. Due to various factors, such as increases in student intake in various Co-operative Education programs at the College of the North Atlantic and reduction in staff as a result of budget cuts, the opportunities for the Co-operative Education office staff and the College's faculty to meet regularly with these large numbers of students to discuss various employment related issues have somewhat diminished. In particular, they were unable to address areas, such as employability skills, academic regulations, and resume writing and interviewing skills, in which students have traditionally experienced problems. This shortfall was the genesis for an interactive web-based orientation package that is the focus of this project report. -- The design and development of this package utilized two methodologies, namely the systems development life cycle and the design and development of interactive hypermedia systems. The systems development life cycle has three phases, namely systems analysis, detailed analysis and design, and implementation. The design and development of interactive hypermedia includes the determination of the structure, presentation, and content of a web page. -- During the first phase of the systems development life cycle, the systems analysis phase, the selection of the type of information that was to be included in the package occurred. During this activity, the Supervising Coordinator in the Co-operative Education office was the main resource utilized. After the initial required information was collected in the first phase, the detailed analysis and design phase was completed. Within this phase, the prototyping methodology was utilized, during which the web site was incrementally developed. This methodology allows a developer to start with a skeletal model of the web page that can be modified through various iterations. After each iteration, the clients were shown the most recent version of the web site, and were asked if they were satisfied with it or if they required improvements. This process continued until the clients were satisfied with the range, accuracy, and appropriateness of the content. The implementation phase, which is the last one in the systems development life cycle, took the package in its final form and made it accessible from the College's Cooperative Education web page. The final form of the orientation package contained sections on student information, prospective student information, employer information, academic regulations, frequently asked questions, and employability skills. -- From an interactive hypermedia systems perspective, there are three different elements that must be considered when designing a hypermedia product: structure, presentation and content. Structure refers to how the information is structured for optimal navigation and access. Presentation refers to how the information will appear to the user. This might include the use of graphics, audio/video, and interactive forms. The content is the most important part of any web page because it disseminates the required and relevant information. All of these elements were determined with the assistance of the Cooperative Education Coordinators. -- However, it should be noted that this package was primarily intended for student use. Therefore, it was incumbent on the designer to perform a field test which allowed randomly selected students to navigate around the web site and peruse the information it contained. Also, a questionnaire and interview process was conducted in which the students were asked to rate the web site on factors such as the overall appearance of the product, the usefulness of the product information, and the understanding of the product information. Based on the overwhelmingly positive results from these processes, no changes were considered necessary to the package. -- With the success of this endeavour, it is recommended that the use of the Internet for this type of student service opportunity be further investigated by colleges and universities. Such projects as this must be relevant and accessible, as well as appealing to the intended audience. It is also recommended that information on the various web pages be written at a level that the average student can understand.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 65-71.|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||College of the North Atlantic. Prince Philip Drive Campus. Dept. of Co-operative Education; Education, Cooperative--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Computer network resources; College student orientation--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Computer network resources|
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