Integrated students, coordinators and companies system for students’ field attachment coordination for Tanzanian higher learning institutions
Work-based learning is what equips students with practical skills. All higher learning institutions (HLIs) have a specified period of time for students to carry out field based practices in companies which are relevant to their fields of study. As the number of students in Tanzanian HLIs become larger, coordination and allocation of students to relevant companies is becoming tougher. This study therefore intended to examine a better method to facilitate coordination and allocation of students to relevant companies through development of an online system. The research study to determine systems’ requirements was conducted in Arusha and Kilimanjaro by involving 62 HLI students, 3 HLIs and 5 companies. Data were collected using key informant interviews, observation and workshop. Both informative and descriptive information regarding current practices and desired features were collected and analyzed. The results show that, a platform need to have main features of Students’ profiles, companies’ information, application feedback, supervision reports, and assessment of students by companies and their respective HLIs to address the challenge. The features determined gave efficiency advantages to all three main stakeholders who are HLIs, students and companies. Prior to actual system implementation, collaborative prototype was designed using pencil software and shared to 5 users from each group to evaluate the tasks based on provided scenarios. To refine the requirements, responses from users were accommodated and the final prototype design was used to develop Field Attachment Management System (FAMS). The system was finally validated and tested for usability and indicated to have improved access by students to relevant companies, reports generation, students’ assessment and follow-up conducted by HLIs to their students.
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