Students Poor Time Management Skills Education Essay

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ICBT leads in delivering Edexcel HND's. However, recent observations showed HND Business Management students showed an increase in poor attendence & punctuality, failed in ontime delivery resulting in late & non delivery of assignments, & the main reason identified for the negative results were, students poor time management skills.

This negatively effects key stakeholders such as institute, students, parents & lectures, resulting in inability of students to achive good grades, incresed stress & years taken to complete the HND, reduced the practice working on deadlines, makes ICBT unable to reach its mission & vision, impacts the existing positive image with Edexcel & the market, fades parents goals & hopes, increses pressure upon lecturers & leads to demotivation as results are not achived as expected from students.

Importance of a sollution was recognized, & identified improving students planning & organizing, prioritising & goal setting skills improves time managemnet skills.

Improving the sead skills, increses students on time submission rates, capability to work on time & reduces stress, enable ICBT reach its mission & vision & maintain good name with both Edexcel & the market, reduce work load pressure & increses motivation of lecturers & lead parents see their children achiving success.

Introduction

Established since year 2000 (ICBT, 2011) International College of Business & Technology Ltd (ICBT) has become one of the most leading private sector higher education offering institute in Sri Lanka offering variety of interantionally accepted study courses.

It was observed most students at ICBT studies Edexcel HND's, & ICBT is most popular in delivering HND's as ICBT was awarded by Edexcel International (The Sunday Times, 1996 - 2011) as the leading center for Edexcel HND's in Sri Lanka

However recent observation showed students studing Edexcel HND business management shows average poor attendence & punctuality, & fail to submit assignments on due dates resulting in late submissions & not submitting assignments.

The main reason identified for students inability to submit assignments on time & poor punctuality, was students poor time managemnt skills. Symptoms identified through observing students which led me to look into these problem was students grades achived, on average students poor attendence, poor punctuality, students complaints on subject matters, students non verbal expressions such as showing less interest & concentration towards lectures, sleepiness, negative attitude towards lectures, talking with friends while lectures are being conducted within the class room, etc…

The imporatance of identifying & finding a sollution to these problem was recognized upon identifying the negative effects it could have upon all key stakeholders involved such as students, parents, lecturers & the institute & the benefits it could bring to the mentioned stakeholders as discussed below.

Improved students time mangemnt skills, will increase students ability to submit assignemnts on time, which could be a criteria leading to achive high grades, reduce both stress levels & enable students to complete the HND's within the time frame of eighteen months, avoid additional payments required on on late extention & remodules of assignments. Further more achiving high grades would increse students knowledge & skills levels, which would benefit in gaining & building core competencies neccessry when entering the job market. Also finding a sollution to improve students time mangement skils, would increase students practice & ability to mange time effectively, efficiently under presure of work while in the university, which could be highly belived would be useful in their carrer life as time mangemnt is considerd as a vital interpersonal skill in todays business world.

Further if strategies are not implimentd to improve students time mangemnt skills it would make it impossible for ICBT to reach its mission & vission as identified in figure ------------- in appendix , as ICBT's mission of enahancing quality of human resources available to the market, would be negatively effected as students poor grades, poor time management skills, poor punctuality, etc… would not result in an increse of qulity human resource available to the job market in the future, & it would not enable ICBT to reach its vision, since poor performance of students would effect ICBT's reputation & recognition in both the local & international market negatively, impacting both international & local market growth negatively. Also if this results in an continuation, there is an high possibility that ICBT's quality of education & reputation in the private higher education could be adversly effected, resulting in ICBT's reputation recognized by Edexcel International as discussed above to detoriate.

Students ability to mange time effcetively is a vital factor that could effect a child ability to meet parents goals & hopes, such as seing childeren passing exams with good grades on planned time frame & being highly educated, having a good career & a work life balance. Further good time mangemnent skills would result in not requiring to pay any additional payments to the college on late submission or re-modules resulting in less financial burden upon parents.

Increase in students time mangement skills would increase students ability to submit assignments on time, & this would enable the lecturers to complete checking the whole batches assignments on a perticular day, without the need of carrieng forward any due checks, putting additional presure & burden upon them. Further effective time mangemnt plays a major role upon students ability to achive a Distinction criteria & other good grades, which could be a motivating factor for lecturers & act as proof of lecturers high performance.

As problem was identified ICBT City campus Edexcel HND business management students, area of influence or the scope of the study was identified as the collection of all the current registerd Edexcel HND Business Managemnt students at ICBT City campus.

As identified & discusssed above how students poor time managemnt skills effects students & other core stakeholders such as parents, lecturers, & the institute, the importance of finding a sollution for these problem was highlighted & by doong so it would not only fullfil the knowledge gap, but also bring massive benefits to all the key satkeholders as discussed below.

Research Problem

Why ICBT City campus Edexcel HND Business Managemnt students are inefficient in their time mangemnt ?

Research Questions

What is time managemnt ?

What is efficiency & effectiveness ?

What is effetive time managemnt ?

What are the factors influencing effective time managemnt of students ?

Research Objectives

Identify what is time managemnt by reading articles & other relevent documents published on time managemnt on or before 12/09/2012

Read articles & other relevent documents & identify what is effciency & effectiveness & why it is important to students before 13/09/2012

Identify what is effective time managemnt by reading articles & other relevent documents published on effective time managemnt skiils on or before 16/09/2012

Search relevent theories & literiture to identify factors effecting effective time managemnt of students on or before 18/09/2012

Literiture Review

Time management involves balancing all the activities in which a person participates within the confines of the week (Canyons, 2001-2012). Efficiency & effectiveness plays a vital role towards determining an individuals ability to balance & manage all activities of a perticular time period. Efficiency is where time or effort is well used for a planned task & efectiveness is doing the right thing. Therefore effective time management could be considerd as an individuals ability to ensure right things are done at the right time, while ensuring time & effort is well used for the planned task. However factors effecting time managemnt skills of an individual is discussed below.

A study done to find the relatinship between, delay & the lack of ability to set daily routines associated to academic activities (Dietz, Hofer & Fries, 2007) suggested that students planning is important to prevent delays in academic work, while Drucker in 1967 recognized that planning activities & task does not always ensure completion of planned work, specially when time presure is high. However a study done by Gerhard in year 2007, showed that student planning is only one factor among several other factors that could effect time mangement, through results observed by both pre & post training skiils observed, which focused on four criterias such as self assesment, goal setting, time mangement & self regulation, which was capable to show a major increase or improvement in between students pre & post self managemnt skills.

According to Sandberg in year 2001, stated that effective utilisation of time would help to achive goals as planned, & it is the art of arranging, organising, scheduling, & budgeting ones time for the purpose is the factors that influence effective work & productivity. Obi in year 2003 stated that time mangemnt involves accurately identifying tasks to be performed, planning & scheduling of activities, prioritisng activities in order, & allocating time to tasks according to the degree of imporatane that enhances productivity.

Olaniyi in 1998 & Akomolafe in 2005 argued that, there is nothing to mange in time as time is beyod human control, & what individuals are capable to do is to decide what to do with the available time & how well to organize activities within the available time frame. Adedeji in year 1998 also came up with a strong & similar argument that supports, Olaniyi's & Akomolafe's findings, where he sead time is an scares resource & utilization of time could be achived by doing the right thing at the right time.

A study done among university students in the United states (Macan, et al, 1990) identified a four factor model which effects students time managemnt skills & they were setting goals and priorities, planning and scheduling, perceived control over time, and preference for disorganisation. Out of the four factors perceived control over time had shown the strongest contribution to students academic and emotional adjustment. Further Macan's identification that goal setting could infleunce time managemnt was also surported by Richards in 1987 where Richards's concluded that setting life goals & keeping time logs were important techniques for effective time managemnt.

McCay in 1959 developed a concept for time management training programme, where the critical elements highlighted in it were, giving insight into time consuming activities, changing time expenditure, & increasing work day efficiency by teaching people how to make daily planning, how to prioritise task & how to handle unexpected tasks.

A study done by Britton & Tesser in 1991, had identified that 67% of undergraduate students find time managemnt as the most difficult task to manage & 36% varience among the grades werte due to time mangemnt skills. This further highlights & proves the importance of finding why and how time mangemnt skills could be improved among ICBT City campus HND Business managemnt students.

Planning & organizing skills

Figure ------------------ (Conceptual model)

Time management

Prioritising skills

Gaol setting skills

Alternative Hypothesis identified

Students planning, organizing & prioritising & goal setting skills effects time management

Planning & organizing skills is "the ability to manage self and/or others, and resources including time and surrounding circumstances to reach a specific goal" (University of Strathclyde, n.d)

Prioritizing skills is the ability to "define, rank, and assign levels of importance to tasks, activities, and/or issues and deal with matters of higher importance first. Create a list of items in order in which they need to be completed or delegated. Align personnel and other resources according to priority while maintaining organizational mission, vision, and objectives. Determine matters of urgency and handle accordingly" (Selection criteria examples, 2012)

Goal setting is the ability of an individual to "establishing specific, measurable and time targeted objectives" (Objectiveli, 2012)

Time management is "a set of principles, practices, skills, tools, and systems that work together to help you get more value out of your time with the aim of improving the quality of your life" (Time thoughts, 2004 - 2011), & time management skill of an individual depends upon the individuals planning & organizing, prioritising & goal setting skills.

Methodology

The sampling frame would be derived from the current ICBT city campus HND Business management student's registers, available from the programme coordinating office, which would give a complete list of all students registered for the course under each batch. Out of the sampling frame, a student sample would be obtained in order to conduct the research.

However, HND Business management batch 38 & 46 would be excluded from, the survey as batch 38 has already completed the HND & only awaiting for the finalised results & batch 46 would be excluded, as the batch is the freshest HND Business management batch, which has started on the second week of September 2012, & would not enable to gain required information.

In order to avoid the sampling error study would be done to identify the most suitable sampling method to be adopted & a larger sample size would be considered in the survey, than the sample size requirement calculated through the sample size calculator.

Table ----------------------------- (Operational model)

Criteria to be measured

Measurement unit

Planning &organizing

Skills

Ability to estimate time &effort required to complete a task

Ability to organize systems &required resources

Organize personal time to carry out responsibilities

Maintain satisfactory preparation time for scheduled deadlines

Capability to develop schedules &timetables with clear milestones &deadlines

Ability to measure results &milestones for self

Prioritising skills

Ability to identify critical task &arrange tasks in logical order

Establish priorities systematically &differentiate between urgent, important &unimportant tasks

Ability to monitor or adjust priorities on a daily basis

Goal setting skills

Ability to set SMART objectives

Criteria to be measured

Measurement unit

Time management

skills

Students attendance

On time delivery, late submissions &not submitted rates of assignments

(University of Strathclyde, n.d) (Top achievement, n.d)

To measure the relationship of the conceptual model identified in figure ------------------ an operational model had been created in table -------------- above. According to the conceptual model organizing, planning & prioritising & goal setting skills are considered as independent variable & time management skills is considered as a dependent variable.

Table ---------- (Logical link created to prove the accuracy of measuring units used in the operational model)

Criteria to be measured

Measurement unit

Logical link to prove accuracy of measuring unit

Planning &organizing skills

Ability to estimate time &effort required to complete a task

Ability to estimate the time &effort required to complete particular task, would enable a student to plan in advance on future tasks &help to identify how much remaining time is available towards achieving other tasks

Ability to organize systems &required resources

Ability to organize systems &resources required to accomplish an task in advance, would help students to fully utilise its separated time towards achieving the task, without the need to use that time in finding required resources &systems which would save time

Organize personal time to carry out responsibilities

If students have the ability to organize time to carry out personal responsibilities in their lives, the separated time could be fully utilized in meeting personal responsibilities, where this would help to avoid personal responsibilities interrupting at times students are engaged in academic work.

Maintain satisfactory preparation time for scheduled deadlines

Student's ability to maintain satisfactory preparation time for scheduled deadlines would help to avoid stress levels of students, an increase their ability to accomplish their goals as planned.

Criteria to be measured

Measurement unit

Logical link to prove accuracy of measuring unit

Planning &organizing skills

Capability to develop schedules &timetables with clear milestones &deadlines

Ability to set clear milestones &deadlines with the use of clear schedules &time tables, would lead to student motivation &also highlight the targets students have to achieve at each given time or date &thereby enable to plan &organize tasks

Ability to measure results &milestones for self

Ability to measure results &milestones for self, would give an students a clear personal idea on where adjustments needs to be made &thereby help to plan &organize tasks more accurately in the future

Prioritising skills

Ability to identify critical task &arrange tasks in logical order

Students ability to identify critical tasks would enable students to give more priority towards achieving them, among other less important tasks

Establish priorities systematically &differentiate between urgent, important &unimportant tasks

Ability to priorities systematically &differentiate between urgent, important &unimportant tasks, would enable a student to give more priority accordingly to urgent, important &unimportant tasks.

Ability to monitor or adjust priorities on a daily basis

In general there is high possibility that sudden unexpected tasks may arise than expected, or an unmet task as planned, may be have to reposition into daily tasks. At a given situation, student's ability to accurately monitor &readjust the set plans accordingly would enable to reprioritise tasks accordingly.

Goal setting skills

Ability to set SMART objectives

Ability to set SMART objectives would enable student to avoid underestimation or overestimation of work &capabilities

Criteria to be measured

Measurement unit

Logical link to prove accuracy of measuring unit

Attendance

Students attendance records

Students attendance records would provide an clear understanding on students punctuality &attendance, which could be count towards time management skills

Assignment submission rates

On time delivery, late submissions &remoulded rates

Students on time delivery, late submissions &remoulded rates of assignments, would set a clear criteria towards evaluating time management skills, as ability to submit assignments on time mostly depends on students ability to manage time effectively

Students planning, organizing prioritising & goal setting skills would be measured using pre determined questioners used by researches that have been capable of measuring students planning, organizing prioritising & gaol setting skills. The results obtained using the questioners would be compared against students late & on time assignment submission rates, re-module rates & attendance in determining if, HND Business management students planning, organizing & prioritising & goal-setting skills has an effect upon time management skills.

Data collection plan

Note - Questioner attached in the appendix

Data / Information required

Primary / Secondary data

Source of data

Sampling frame

Secondary data

Data obtained through the programme officeof ICBT city campus

Data / Information required

Primary / Secondary data

Source of data

On time assignment, late submission &re-module rate of assignment submission of students

Primary data

Questioners distributed among the sample students

Student attendance

Primary data

Questioners distributed among the sample students

Students planning & organizing, prioritising &Goal setting skills

Planning & organizing skills

Primary data

Questioners distributed among the sample students

Prioritising skills

Primary data

Questioners distributed among the sample students

Goal setting skills

Primary data

Questioners distributed among the sample students

Sampling methods to be adopted

Simple random sampling

All students considered under the population will be listed in Excel software according to batch wise, in order to the student register, & a sample of students would be selected using the, random formula provided in Excel in order to conduct the survey. Simple random sampling would avoid biasness in selection of students for the sample, enabling every student considered under the population to have an equal chance of being selected for the survey & would thereby be capable to represent the whole population.

Difficulties & limitations faced in using Simple random sampling

Although the list of students names are readily available at the programme coordinating department gaining access to the list may be challenging as it may require permission from a authorised personal, as the list of students names may be protected under certain privacy policies

Efficiency of the programme coordinating department team influence the ability to gain information on students names list, which may influence the time required to complete the research positively or negatively

The list of student's names provided by the programme office may not be readily available upon one single document, & therefore it may be difficult & time consuming to bring all data together into one single document or worksheet to create a final list from where a sample could be created.

There may be a possibility that all students chosen to represent the sample may have planning, organizing, prioritising & goal setting skills, or all the students chosen to represent the sample may not have planning, organizing, prioritising & goal setting skills, which may create an inability in comparing the results of both kinds of students, & arrive at a valid conclusion.

Project plan (Gantt chart) of the research

Activity completed - Activity not completed - X

Table --------------------

Task

Start date

Finish date

Length

Task dependent on

Progress

(Activity completed/ not completed)

Comments &rescheduled date if task not accomplished as planned

1

Research proposal

10/09/2012

20/09/2012

1 week 4 days

Was able to complete task before the planned date

2

Prepare the questionere

13/09/2012

16/09/2012

4 days

Was possible to prepare the questionere by 15/09/2012

3

Get the student names list required from the programme office

24/09/2012

27/09/2012

4 days

Was able to obtain the names list on 13/09/2012 before the planned date of 27/09/2012

4

List the student population in Excel sheet &use simple random sampling to select the sample students

27/09/2012

30/09/2012

4 days

3

Task

Start date

Finish date

Length

Task dependent on

Progress

(Activity completed/ not completed)

Comments &rescheduled date if task not accomplished as planned

5

Distribute questionere &get the feedback from all selected sample students

01/10/2012

20/10/2012

20 days

2 &4

6

Start editing, coding, data entry, &data analysis of data obtained through thequestionere

21/10/2012

05/11/2012

15 days

5

7

Final research project

06/11/2012

30/11/2012

25 days

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Conclusion

ICBT well renowned private higher education provider has been recognized as the leading center for providing Edexcel HND's in Sri Lanka (The Sunday Times, 1996 - 2011). However, it observed students studding HND Business management has shown an increase in poor attendance & punctuality, & fail to submit assignments on due dates, influencing all key stakeholders such as students, lecturers, institute & the parents negatively. The reason identified for poor attendance & punctuality, & failure to submit assignments on due dates was students poor time management skills & therefore imporatance of identifying & finding a sollution to these problem was recognized.

Through a detailed literiture, conceptual model was derived where which displayed planning & organizing skills, prioritising skills & goal setting skills influence students time managemnet skills, & therefore the alternative hypothesis developed was, Students planning, organizing & prioritising & goal setting skills effects time management.

Planning & organizing, prioritising & goal setting skills was identified as indipendent variable, where it could influence the dependent variable which is time managemnt skills. The operational model identified in table ---- lists the measurements that could be used in mesuring all the dependent & indipendent variables.

In order to to find how ICBT HND Businesss Managemnt students planning & organizing, prioritising & goal setting skills effects time managemnt, the sampling frame was identified as all the current students studing HND Business managemnt at ICBT City campus. However batch 38 & 46 would be excluded from the survey as batch 38 has already completed the HND & batch 46 would be excluded, as the batch is the freshest HND Business management batch, & would not enable to gain required information.

Data collection plan in table ----- shows the data required & the sources of data collection in gathering the required details.

Simple random sampling was identified as the suitable sampling method to derive the sample to conduct the survey, & in order to minimise the sampling error a larger sample size would be considered in the survey, than the sample size requirement calculated through the sample size calculator. Difficulties in adopting simple random sampling method are listed in page----

Table --------------- shows the project developed to conduct the research.

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