Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Dr. Robert O. Brinkerhoff
The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of whether interaction with a computer-assisted career information and guidance system is a function of the person's age, sex, or educational background. It further attempted to determine if there were differences in the career information needs of Macomb Community College students and those of the general Michigan Occupational Interest Survey (MOIS) user population of the Michigan Occupational Interest Coordinating Committee's study of 1980. Interviews were conducted for the purpose of finding some explanation of these differences. After tracing the development of career information expansion and reviewing current practices in the computer-assisted delivery of that information in higher education, the need for external evaluations of the differences in user-system interaction because of the quality and quantity of data bases and the needs of the specific populations or sub-populations became apparent.
A sample of the MOIS users at Macomb Community College was surveyed via an adaptation of the instrument used in the state's study. Importance and adequacy of career information items as well as ease of understanding and success of the several parts of the MOIS were reported. Based upon the data collected from the survey and the literature, recommendations were developed for the planning of more effective career counseling services, improvement of the system's information delivery, and for further research.
Some of the study findings were: (a) Though MOIS users at MCC, across sub-populations, identified several common career information needs as important, there were differences in user-system interaction because of the quality and quantity of data bases and the needs of the sub-populations. (b) The greatest differences in needs were found to involve career information of national import; age, sex, and minority issues; and alternative career choice. (c) Values, attitudes and beliefs of Macomb students seemed to account for these differences. (d) Wide variations on needs items surfaced in comparing the two studies. (e) Overall, MOIS was viewed as only slightly less successful and easy to understand by the Macomb College users of the system than by those of the Michigan study.
The conclusions of the study were: (1) Non-traditional students at Macomb Community College have some special needs involved in the career decision-making process. (2) The MOIS system may need to address itself through its data bases to these needs if it is to support a more satisfying interaction.
Kirkwood, Joyce, "Interaction Functions of a Computer - Assisted Career Information and Guidance System: Macomb Community College" (1983). Dissertations. 2450.