Approaches to Vocational College Outcomes

Approaches to Vocational College Outcomes

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9250-1.ch004
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The way in which research is conducted may be conceived in terms of the methods and procedures adopted to collect the data and draw conclusions from the data. The chapter discusses the research hypothesis, research design, research philosophy, research methods, target population, sample size, research instruments, instrument validity, and reliability. It also covers data collection procedure, data analysis techniques, ethical considerations, and results. The chapter reviewed relevant literature from related journals and books so as to develop and implement appropriate research methodology while keeping in mind the purpose of the study: to determine whether college resources and student engagement are linked with student learning outcomes in Kenya's higher vocational colleges. Resources were all input to a college that make learning favorable while student engagement were all educational purposive activities that bring about desirable outcomes and students satisfaction with college experience.
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Research Hypotheses

To fulfill the purpose of chapter 4, six research questions listed below were explored:

  • 1.

    How do principals, lecturers and students perceive resources, engagement and learning outcomes in Kenya’s higher vocational colleges?

  • 2.

    Are there any group variations in respondents’ demographic factors on college resources, student engagement and student learning outcomes?

  • 3.

    Controlling for respondents’ demographic factors, what is the relationship between college resources and student learning outcomes?

  • 4.

    Controlling for respondents’ demographic factors, what is the relationship between college resources and student engagement?

  • 5.

    After controlling for respondents’ demographic factors, what is the relationship between student engagement and learning outcomes?

  • 6.

    Are there any remedies offered by participants of this study that can be adopted to improve learning outcomes in Kenya’s higher vocational colleges?

The first question was answered using descriptive statistics from the questionnaire, interviews and observation. The second question was answered using results from independent sample t-test and one way Anova test. Questions 3, 4 and 5 were answered using Pearson correlation coefficients and regression analyses. The last question was answered using interviews from participants. Further, in questions 3, 4 and 5 the relationships were examined utilizing quantitative research methods in the form of surveys. Broadly, the questions were concerned with the nature and strength of the relational experiences learners receive as they interact with the college environment and how this interaction influence their learning outcomes. The questions also examined explanatory usefulness of the proposed model of factors that influence learning outcomes.

The variables in the study were grouped into three categories as illustrated in Figure 1. College resources were in the form of physical, human and fiscal whereas student engagement was identified in terms of peer, lecturer and socio-cultural interactions in the college setup. The learning outcomes identified in the study were standardized test scores, student experience and student acquired traits as a result of schooling. The model was developed based on literature review and used to test proposed relationships among the variables. The model illustrates the hypothesized relationships among the study variables including both direct and indirect effects on learning outcomes. Structural equation model was used primarily to test this direct and indirect relationships. Three null hypotheses used to conduct the study were formulated as follows:

Figure 1.

Relationship amid college resources, student engagement, and learning outcomes

  • H1: College Resources Have a Significant and Direct Effect on Learning Outcomes

The literature review provided in chapter two upholds the linkage between college resources and learning outcomes; for example, inadequate resources leads to poor student performance (Juma 2016). Specifically, physical resources (Visser & Juan, 2015); human resource (‎Zepke & Leach, 2010) and fiscal resources (DesJardins et al., 2002); highly relates to student learning outcomes. Because past studies documented that college resources have an effect on learning outcomes, H1 was included in the study hypotheses. This hypothesis relates to research question three.

  • H2: College Resources Have a Significant and Direct Effect on Student Engagement

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