The development of a tailored, career-focused interactive online learning tool for physical activity and health students: A pilot study
Keywords:careers, e-learning, higher education, career planning, online learning tools
Students enrolled in university courses often lack knowledge of potential jobs and career paths they can take, which can inhibit their ability to plan, job seek and make decisions about their careers, and negatively impact on their ability to gain employment. To address this problem we developed and piloted a tailored, career-focused interactive online learning tool for public health and exercise science students, based on constructs of Savickas’ (2005) theory of career construction. This paper reports a mixed-methods study to understand student experiences of using that tool, and their perception of how well it prepared them for career planning. Twenty-two second-year students completed an online survey using both qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the perceived feasibility and acceptability of the interactive online learning tool. Descriptive (for quantitative data) and inductive content analyses (for qualitative data) were performed. Most students (86%) indicated that they would use the tool again. All students reported that the tool was user-friendly, engaging and informative and provided them with jobs that matched their personal and work-related skills and strengths. Qualitative data reflected these findings and identified seven key themes, including: value, career exploration, design, and tailoring, with themes partly reflecting components of Savicka’s theory. The tailored, career-focused interactive online learning tool was perceived to be a feasible and effective strategy to support university students in their career planning and job seeking behaviours prior to graduation. These findings can be used to inform and refine the development of career-focussed tools for students undertaking other University courses.
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