Today's RM students and their attitudes
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Curtin University continues to provide recordkeeping education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Enrolment numbers have remained steady over the past five years. The major change in enrolment has been a steady move from postgraduate diploma programs to coursework masters. In 2001 only one student graduated from the very new coursework masters program, by 2005 the number of graduates had risen to 17.The earlier study reported in 2003 indicated that the typical Curtin graduate across both courses (Bachelor of Arts Librarianship and Corporate Information Management; Graduate Diploma/Master of Information Management Records Management and Archives) was likely to be female (69.1%), have some prior experience in the field of recordkeeping (43.6%), be aged between 20-30 years (36.4%), and prefer internal/on-campus (58.2%), full-time (38.2%) modes of study. The major difference between graduates at this time was that those from the undergraduate degree were far more likely to have prior experience in the field (59.1%) and were completing the degree in order to upgrade knowledge and skills and enhance career prospects, whereas the postgraduate level students were more usually doing the course in order to facilitate a career change or re-entry to the workforce after a period of child-rearing.The 2006 survey indicates that the typical student is still likely to be female (80%), have some prior experience in recordkeeping (40%), be aged between 20-30 years (33.3%), but prefer external part-time study modes (43.3%). The preferred mode of study is significantly different to 2001 when internal and full-time were the preferred options. The major reasons for studying were focussed on the perceived better employment opportunities and career enhancement.As well as assessing any changes in student study preferences, this current study aimed to capture student perceptions of recordkeeping and recordkeeping education. A particular focus of the study was the identification of any change in students' perceptions over the duration of the study program and over three-quarters of those students responding to the survey did note change. This change focussed largely on the diversity and complexity of the discipline.
This work was first published in the 21(3) 2007 issue of InfoRMAA Quarterly, the journal of the Records Management Association of Australasia.
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