Researchers at The Open University compare the efficacy of e-guidance and telephone careers support for students' career learning, development and progression
- Telephone careers guidance performed markedly better for a higher proportion of students than e-guidance.
- The research uncovered that for some groups of students e-guidance is still preferable. For example, international students who found telephone support problematic because of time zone differences and students with work commitments during office hours.
- In contrast, telephone guidance performed well in helping students develop a personal connection and conversation with their careers and employability consultant.
- Often students chose telephone guidance because it was deemed both convenient and efficient compared to e-guidance, which was perceived as taking longer to provide answers.
- Those that received telephone guidance reported far greater impact in terms of motivation and improved confidence.
- Where a guidance model is followed within e-guidance the results in terms of impact at 3 months were comparable with those who received an interaction by telephone.
- E-guidance requires careers professionals to utilise a distinct set of skills compared to telephone guidance.
- Ongoing training and continuous professional development is necessary to help careers professionals develop the necessary skills to deliver e-guidance competently and must reside within a quality assurance scheme.
Download the full report
YOU'VE GOT MAIL! Exploring student and practitioner experiences of the value of email and telephone careers guidance
About the report
This HECSU-funded research report explores the following research questions.
- What are the perceptions of guidance practitioners involved in the delivery of one-to-one guidance at a distance?
- Is e-guidance equally beneficial for students' career learning, development and progression as compared to telephone delivery?
- Are there any additional benefits of e-guidance purely in the asynchronous nature of the interaction as reported by the student?
This research will benefit the debate around the efficacy of e-guidance for complex career learning and decision making, and contribute to the wider evidence base for practice.
Funding for this research was awarded by HECSU prior to its merger with Jisc in May 2020.
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