Design and Implementation of an Interactive Online Platform for Students and School Supervisors to Communicate Regularly During the Students IT/SIWES Attachment
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a skills training programme designed to expose and prepare students of universities and other tertiary institutions for the Industrial Work situation they are likely to meet after graduation. It is also a planned and structured programme based on stated and specific career objectives which are geared towards developing the occupational competencies of participants (Mafe, 2009). Consequently, the SIWES programme is a compulsory graduation requirement for all Nigerian university students offering certain courses.
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), is the accepted training programme, which is part of the approved Minimum Academic Standard in the various degree programmes for all Nigerian Universities. The scheme is aimed at bridging the existing gap between theory and practice of Sciences, Agriculture, Medical Sciences (including Nursing), Engineering and Technology, Management, Information and Communication Technology, and other professional educational programmes in the Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is aimed at exposing students to machines and equipment, professional work methods, and ways of safeguarding the work areas and workers in industries, offices, laboratories, hospitals, and other organizations.
Before establishing the Scheme, industrialists and other employers of labor felt concerned that graduates of Nigeria Universities were deficient in practical background studies preparatory for employment in industries and other organizations. The employers thus concluded that the theoretical education being received in our higher institutions was not responsive to the needs of the employers of labor. Consequently, the rationale for initiating and designing the scheme by the Industrial Training Funds ITF, in 1973.
The scheme is a tripartite programme involving the students, the universities, and the employers of labor. It is funded by the Federal Government and jointly coordinated by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the National Universities Commission (NUC).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Industrial Training/Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme is usually intended for students to get valuable work experience relating to their field of study, due to the difficulty in getting work placement students often find themselves getting jobs in areas far away from their institutions. Supervisors have to wait till the end of the training scheme to assess the performance of the students. As a result of this problem, supervisors find it very difficult to monitor the progress of the student regularly.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
This study aims to provide an interactive online platform for students and school supervisors to communicate regularly during the students’ IT/SIWES attachment.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
· To enable the school supervisor to monitor the progress of the students during their IT/SIWES training.
· To enable students and supervisors to communicate regularly, this, in turn, enables the student to provide feedback regarding problems encountered during his/her training program.
· To enable the lecturer/supervisor to determine if the student is gaining relevant work experience during the IT/SIWES training.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the student and lecturer/supervisor progress reports. The automation involves an online portal where the student and lecturers/supervisors can interact regularly.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will help to bridge the communication gap between students and supervisors during the students’ IT/SIWES training programming, it seeks to provide a steady communication stream via the use of online resources, to ensure effective monitoring of students, irrespective of the distance where the student is carrying out his/her training.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
As a result of the various stages involved in IT reporting, this research work would be limited to only weekly feedback, and the full technical reports submitted at the end of the IT/SIWES exercise. Also, this research is limited to an online interaction between a student and his/her supervisor.
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