This evaluation report was conducted at micro level in the Edith Cowan University in Perth Western Australia with the aim of evaluating the Edith Cowan skills academic centre. ECU skills centre is a program that helps the student with essay wring task with the aim of creating independence and higher performance during their study period. Despite the availability of this service, a current survey indicates that over 50% of the student find essay writing a challenging task. This evaluation was therefore conducted to find out if the ECU academic centre is meeting the needs of the students. The study utilised the non-experimental method and the evaluation was summative (Walter, 2013, p. 140). Qualitive and quantitative methods were used for data collection. The participants were 20 males and 20 females. Consent forms were filled and signed by both the participants and the researchers before the interview. The data collected was de-identified and pseudonyms attached for confidentiality purpose. The results showed that 70% of the students used the services when they were first years and they felt satisfied with the services offered by the academic centre. Another finding was that most of the students who utilised the services were international students. Lastly, 30% reported not using the service because they lacked knowledge of its operations. Premised on the findings, it was recommended that more networking needs to be done to create awareness of this service and lectures should be awarding 5 marks to all students who utilise this service to encourage more use of this service.
Edith Cowan University (ECU) was established in 1991. ECU is situated in Perth, at the western part of Australia. As of 2017, the average population of the university was 20, 416 (ABS,2017). Of the overall population, there are 4,238 international students and the rest are domestic students. The university offers several degree courses in its three main campus: Joondalup, Mt Lawley and Bunbury. The demographic population of ECU is 25,500 (Abs, 2017). ECU provides services that have the objective of guarding the rights of the students in the university and also helping them to advance in the improvement of their experience in the study. One of the major supports program is the ECU academic skills centre. ECU academic skills centre is a support system that helps students perfect their essay writing skills with an overall view of making students more relaxed during their studies. Notably, the primary goal of this centre is to improve the students learning skills and create lifelong academic success in the learner (Abbott & Doucouliagos, 2003).
The ECU academic centre is equipped with advisers who support the students with their learning. The services are provided through one to two hours drop in workshops which are conducted in classes or online. The main areas of assistance include, note taking, referencing, English language, math’s and science (see appendix one for logic map). Despite the service availability, a recent survey has shown that students at ECU still find assignment particularly essay writing a great challenge. Almost 50% of the students have reported difficulties during assignment times (Maskell ; Collins, 2017). This evaluation report was therefore conducted at micro level with the aim of evaluating whether ECU academic centre is sufficient in meeting the needs of the students. The evaluation will examine the programme attendance, student’s expectation and the activities and then judge whether the programme is meeting its goals. The evaluands are the ECU students in Joondalup and the main key holder is the university, the students, the government and the community.
The study utilised the non-experimental method; a method that focuses on evaluating change in behaviour, knowledge and skills (Walter, 2013, p. 299). The category of the evaluation was Summative, a method that looks at the outcome and impact then draws conclusion (Walter, 2013 p, 300.). Summative was used because the program was already in place before we conducted the evaluation. The data collection utilised both qualitive and quantitive method for triangulation purposes (Alhujran, Allozi & Aldebiel ,2014). This report has four sections, the introduction, methods, outcome, presentation and the conclusion.
I. To determine whether Edith Cowan University Skills centre is meeting the needs of the student.
II. Edith Cowan University students not utilising the support offered by academic skills centre.
Non-experimental method aligned itself with this evaluation. This is a method that is summative in form and it describes the observed phenomenon through utilizing surveys in data collection to ensure the subjects are not manipulated during the experiment (Colvin & Jaffar, 2007). Nonexperimental method was utilized because it would allow the evaluator to collect data from the ECU Joondalup student through surveys which would explain and describe the student interaction and experience with the ECU academic center (Currie& Collin 2017). One advantage of non-experimental method is that it describes a phenomenon and helps in understanding of people events and the world in which they occur (Bling & Maxey, 2017)
The evaluation was summative in nature. Summative is a method that looks at the outcome and impact then draws conclusion (Walter, 2013, p. 330). Summative was used because the program was already in place before we conducted the evaluation. The advantage of using summative is that it uses both qualitive and quntitive method to find answers to the questions. (Roberts & Gibson, 2017). The data collection utilised both qualitive and qualintive method for triangulation purposes. Triangulation refers to mixing methods in data collection to avoid biased (Tucker, 2014). Qualitative method is a systematic approach that is used to describe the life experience and the meaning it give to the people (Brubacher, 2017).
Closed ended survey question were utilised in the evaluation as the main tool for data collection. The survey includes eight closed ended question (see appendix 4) The benefits of such is that they are easy to answer, time saving and cheap. The sampling technique was random sampling. This technique ensures that every individual has a chance of participating (Bling’s ; Maxey, 2017). The samples were selected in ECU Joondalup library. The study population was the ECU student in Joondalup and the study unit was every single student who participated in the survey. The study sample was 40 ECU students and the survey took about 20 minutes to complete. The survey was distributed by the evaluators who were well trained in cvs3114. Ethics was observed, and consent forms signed by both the participants and the researchers before commencement of the survey.
The outcome statement of program:
Baseline: Identifying the underlying issues students were having prior to the program and the outcome after attending a few sessions.
Targets: The expected outcome from this program is to deliver academic skills training workshops which cater for a range of sectors to assist students with tackling assessments task, developing more academic skills through their university experience. While doing so, this program intends to collaborate with lecturers to develop resources that assist students understanding of assessments tasks.
The tool that was employed for data collection was survey. The survey contained eight closed question to control the information and avoid diversion (see appendix 4). The surveys we selected because it is time saving and convenient since the participants do not feel threatened by the presence of the researcher (Walter, 2013, p.5). Consent forms were signed before the survey (see Appendix 7). The survey questioner took about 20 to 30 minutes.
Premised on the nature of the researcher’s evaluation topic, the researcher was interested getting an in-depth understanding of the participant’s narratives, therefore, the researcher used qualitative data which was organised and coded into the appropriate category to capture the key point during the coding process. The Vivo software was used to support the tracing process. A frame was earlier developed to support the coding.
Samples are selected from our population of interest. In this context, the research focused on the academic learning skills centre and as such the collection of all units we intended on studying, and its importance that we are able to delineate precisely and unambiguously who or what comprises the population. The sampling for data collected was through probability sampling which are selected in accordance with the probability theory, incorporating a procedure that gives every member of the population a known probability of selection (Maisel ; Persell, 1996: 5). The proposed research study will use simple random sampling as its key concept when examining the academic learning centre.
To observe the ethical aspects of the participants who participated in this study that is regarding privacy, identity and the correctness of the method of study some precautions were put into consideration. This study observed ethical considerations because it involves a vulnerable group. Ethics refer to set moral of standards (Walter, 2013, p. 5). Before the interview, consent forms were signed (see appendix 7 for concept form). All the participants were of legal age. Pseudonyms were used to de-identify the participants. The data collected was stored in password locked computers with the name de-identified. The data collected will be shredded after five years. This research is self-funded (see appendix 4 for the bud