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Edith Cowan University

Higher Education

Management

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Motherhood First: An Interpretive Description Of The Experience Of Mature Age Female Students With Dependent Children At One Regional University Campus In Australia, Amanda Draper Jan 2015

Motherhood First: An Interpretive Description Of The Experience Of Mature Age Female Students With Dependent Children At One Regional University Campus In Australia, Amanda Draper

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

This study explored the experience of mature age female students with dependent children at one regional university campus in Western Australia, Edith Cowan University South West (ECUSW). These students are one of many student groups whose experience differs to that of more traditional students such as young, unmarried, and well-supported school-leaver students. Although all students enter university with experiences that make them valuable to the university institution, mature age female students with dependent children enter university with unique knowledge, experiences and attitudes making them potentially valuable contributors to their own and others’ learning (Martins & Anthony, 2007). Whilst at university, these students often face unique challenges in balancing their time and energy between their multiple roles (White, 2008).

The timing of this study was important in response to the Bradley Report (Bradley, 2008) which was released in 2008, which stemmed from a review of Higher Education in Australia. This report recommended national targets of at least 40% of 25 to 34 year olds are to have a bachelor level qualification or higher by 2020 (Bradley, 2008). The Bradley report also recommended an increase in enrolments of non-traditional students, including those with a low socio-economic status (SES) and those residing in regional areas. Research focusing on these students is essential as the actual experience of these non-traditional students, mature age female students with dependent children, and their specific needs is significantly under-researched. Thus, the purpose of this study was to add to the existing and emerging body of knowledge related to the population of interest to inform, guide and improve decisions relating to future Australian mature age female university students with dependent children.

The methodology guiding this study was Interpretive Description, a second-generation qualitative methodology whose ancestry lies in phenomenology, ethnography and grounded theory. The purpose of this methodology, which was developed by Thorne, Reimer-Kirkham and MacDonald-Emes (1997), is to guide the researcher in the exploration of the experiences of multiple participants in a particular social setting, such as attending university. The methodology facilitates the creation of a conceptual description capturing the themes and patterns conveyed by the participants (Thorne, 2008).

Data were collected from 32 participants who were involved in this study, with 21 participating in individual interviews and 11 participating in one of three mini-focus groups. Each of these 32 participants also completed the same 20-question demographic questionnaire. These methods supported the analysis of the participants’ experience, resulting in a multi-layered conceptual description. The foundational layer of the conceptual description illustrates two complex and interrelated themes of expectations and management. The expectations theme included three aspects; students’ academic expectations, expectations of the ...


E-Learning Implementation Strategies For An Ict-Challenged Environment : Case Of The University Of Ghana, Legon, Isaiah T. Awidi Jan 2013

E-Learning Implementation Strategies For An Ict-Challenged Environment : Case Of The University Of Ghana, Legon, Isaiah T. Awidi

Theses: Doctorates and Masters

E-learning implementation in higher education continues to gain prominence in both developed and developing countries, and while most universities in ICT-rich environments are exploring different ways of using ICT and multimedia resources to enhance teaching and learning, the same cannot be said about ICT-challenged environments. Nevertheless, the question of successful and sustainable e-learning implementation continues to remain a challenge, particularly in ICT-challenged environments.

The primary purpose of this research was to examine policy and strategy issues that have influenced the process of e-learning implementation at the University of Ghana (UG), given that previous ICT and e-learning initiatives failed to improve ...


A Report Of An Evaluation Of The Women In Leadership Program Edith Cowan University, Sandra Milligan, Lyn Genoni Jan 1993

A Report Of An Evaluation Of The Women In Leadership Program Edith Cowan University, Sandra Milligan, Lyn Genoni

ECU Publications Pre. 2011

In the early 1950s Australia had only a handful of universities in Australia serving a student body of less than 50 000. Of every 100 who went to school fewer than five went on to university. Now Australia's 40 or more universities make up a mass system which takes in more than a fifth of the age group. There are more than half a million university students.

This remarkable growth has been accompanied by considerable turbulence within the universities. Along with massive expansion, universities have experienced staff shortages, criticisms of teaching quality and research priorities, demands for greater public ...