Online Learning and the Use of Audio Recordings for Career Exploration, Job Search, and Networking

Online Learning and the Use of Audio Recordings for Career Exploration, Job Search, and Networking

Mary Beth Pinto (Penn State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1306-4.ch020
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Abstract

The use of online platforms in higher education as an alternative to traditional residential classrooms has grown dramatically in recent years. The integration of online technology into pedagogy technology is acknowledged as a useful means for addressing the characteristics of Generation Z, an age cohort for which technology is second nature. This chapter examines the efficacy of the use of audio recordings as an additional pedagogical tool for engaging students in both active learning and information dissemination on career opportunities and methods for career advancement. Specifically, the chapter reports on a case study in which active learning was employed in an online course – Retail Management – an undergraduate elective course taught in the marketing major at a large public institution. Audio recordings, labeled “Professionals on Demand (PODcasts)” were used to provide insights into career explorations, job searching, and networking. To conclude, directions for future teaching practice and research are provided.
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Introduction

There has been a rapid growth in the use of online learning as an alternative to the face-to-face residential format traditionally used at colleges and universities. The statistics showed that the number and proportion of university students taking online classes has grown steadily, to a point where a third of all students now take at least one online course (Lederman, 2018). Pedagogical methods employing online technology are useful for meeting the diverse characteristics and learning preferences of college students. A big chunk of these undergraduates falls into a particular subgroup of adult learners and are members of Generations Z. This cohort is born roughly between 1995 and 2012, with the oldest being 24 years old in 2019. The Generation Z or Gen Z population is characterized by a high comfort level with technology that makes it second nature to them.

While Millennials, the generation cohort that precedes Gen Z grew up with the internet, their experiences were generally characterized by the technology’s inherent limitations. That is, millennials owned desktop computers and their families typically invested in a limited number of the personal computers so they (millennials) were bound by the physical placement of the stationary computer. Generation “Z-ers,” on the other hand, grew up with different types of mobile technologies that represented, in essence, a mini-computer in their pocket which gives them unlimited access to information. Communication has become increasingly instantaneous through a variety of social media, texting/messaging, and photo applications. In addition, the current generation of students are not only comfortable but often prefer to use web-based technologies for a variety of purposes, including entertainment, socializing, and instructional activities. This latter category is critical in that educators and researchers alike must recognize the implications of new technologies when teaching new generation of university students. Specifically, it is important to better understand how colleges can leverage students’ favorable attitudes toward new forms of internet technologies while providing effective pedagogy and learning opportunities, both for classroom performance and subsequent job seeking.

This chapter examines the efficacy of the use of audio recordings as an additional pedagogy tool for engaging students in both active learning and information dissemination on career opportunities and methods for career advancement. Specifically, the primary objective of this chapter is to report on a case study in which active learning was employed in an online undergraduate elective course (Retail Management). The course is part of the marketing major at a large public institution and used audio recordings, labeled “Professionals-on-Demandcast (PODcasts)” to provide insights about the application of pertinent marketing concepts, career explorations, and networking. These goals are particularly critical because research shows that many students lack the knowledge of career destinations available to them, and moreover, are not using the career services available on campus (Fadula, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student Engagement: The degree to which students are involved and interested in their own learning and the associated tasks and activities.

Hybrid Course: A course that includes both residential and online learning.

Generational Cohort: a group of individuals born within a specific time period who have similar attitudes and preferences.

Web 2.0: Second generation of the World Wide Web that offers users enhanced interactivity.

Generation Z: A generational group born between the years of 1995 – 2012.

Student Motivation: The degree to which students are driven to accomplish a goal(s) associated with learning.

Podcasting: A series of episodic recordings (audio or video) that a user can download to listen to at any time.

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