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Title: Learning opportunities offered to office management and technology students during work integrated learning and the implications for the curriculum
Authors: Mkhize, Thobekile Octavia 
Issue Date: May-2017
The secretarial/administrative profession is faced with the challenge of rapid advancement in office technology, organisational restructuring and changes in the global economy. This challenge does not only affect employees who are already working as secretaries/administrative staff in the workplace, it also affects institutions of higher education and students who are studying towards an administrative profession. This requires both the institutions of higher education and industry to better prepare students to meet the requirements of the workplace. Given this background, this study examines the current status of the Office Management and Technology curriculum to discover whether it meets the demands of the workplace. The study also investigates learning opportunities offered to Office Management & Technology (OMT) students during Work-integrated Learning (WIL) and the implications for the curriculum, with the aim of improving both classroom learning and workplace learning, and to suggest improvements in the OMT curriculum in Universities of Technology (UoTs). This study investigates and provides information on the skills, attributes and competencies OMT graduates are required to possess in the 21st century world of work. It therefore provides the departments of office technology in UoT’s with an in-depth study of the strengths and weaknesses of their current curriculum so that improvement can be implemented wherever necessary. This study is a case study that involves Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and Durban University of Technology (DUT). The method used was very largely a quantitative method because it was based purely on questionnaires, however, there was a small qualitative element which grew up on the open ended questions. The qualitative questions were used to provide participants with an opportunity to express their own opinions and to clarify the quantitative data within the questionnaire. The study utilised two sets of questionnaires which were distributed to two different groups within the targeted population – to industry supervisors who supervise OMT students at DUT and MUT, and to third year OMT students from MUT who underwent work integrated learning in 2015. The study shows that the current OMT curriculum is reasonably well in line with core industry needs. However, there was evidence that improvement is needed in both classroom learning and in workplace learning. The study also revealed new skills and attributes that need to be incorporated in OMT curriculum in order to be more responsive and relevant in the 21st century world of work. The study recommends that the Office Management and Technology curriculum should be reviewed regularly and that both university and industry should play a significant role in better preparing students to meet the requirements of the workplace.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Management Sciences in Administration and Information Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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