Electronic Records Management Competencies Requirement Of Office Technology And Management Graduates In Nasarawa State
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I humbly dedicate this work to God Almighty who has given me the gift of life, good health, protection, knowledge and above all wisdom to make this work a reality.
To my parents …..……… for giving me both moral and financial support throughout my ND time. And also to my sisters, ………… and to my brothers ………
I am very thankful to God Almighty for his grace upon me. To my academic mentors in the persons of …………, my project supervisor for educating me on the act of project writing and method of its researchers and also to other lecturers who have taught me in the course of writing this project.
I equally appreciate the effort of my family members and all those other in making sure that I am a useful member of the society.
May God bless and sustain them all in their pursuit or strive to attain their life goal.
The study was aimed at assessing the electronic records management competencies requirement of office technology and management graduates in Nasarawa state. Two research questions guided the study. Two null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
The population of the study comprised 366 graduates in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire with 27 items was developed by the researcher and validated by two experts. The Cronbach Alpha coefficient measure of internal consistency was used to test the reliability of the instrument.
The result of the reliability test for sections of the questionnaire 0.97 and 0.68. The results of the reliability test yielded a value of 0.83 for the entire items in the questionnaire respectively. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the three research questions.
The z- test and ANOVA were used to analysis data relating to the hypotheses. The findings revealed that all the electronic records management skill areas assessed were moderately possessed by the graduates. This implies that secretaries in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria do not optimally possess skills for electronic record management.
The findings further showed that there were significant differences in the mean ratings of male and female secretaries regarding the level to which they possess skills for effective electronic records management. Also, there was a significant difference in the mean ratings of secretaries with regards to years of working experience on the extent of electronic records management skills possessed for effective records management.
Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that graduates in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria should immediately be trained by employers, through hands on training, inservice training, workshops, seminars, and conferences on effective electronic records management.
Table Of Contents
- Approval Page
- 1.1 Background to the study
- 1.2 Statement of the problem
- 1.3 Purpose of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Hypotheses
- 1.6 Scope of the study
- 1.7 Significance of the Study
- 1.8 Organization of Study
Chapter Two:Review Of Related Literature
- 2.1 Electronic Records
- 2.2 Electronic Records Storage Skills
- 2.3 Electronic Records Retrieval Skills
- 2.4 Importance of Records in Universities
- 2.5 Theoretical Framework
Chapter Three:Research Methodology
- 3.1 Research design
- 3.2 Sources of Data
- 3.3 Population of the study
- 3.4 Instrumentation
- 3.5 Validity and Reliability
- 3.6 Data collection
- 3.7 Method of data analysis
- 3.8 Ethical consideration
Chapter Four:Results And Discussion
- 4.1 Results
- 4.2 Discussion
Chapter Five:Conclusion And Recommendation
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendations
1.1 Background to the study
The business office is undergoing impressive changes and revolutions which affect the status of the secretarial profession. The changes can be seen in innovation and invention pertaining to equipment, nomenclature, environment, technology, attitudes, responsibilities, training, skill, ability and knowledge (Adewale, 2010).
Emerging office technologies/innovations are profound changes introduced into office work. Agbamu in Obayi (2007) stated that these technological changes have made traditional office functions to be out modeled. The emergence of various modern technologies has changed the operations in modern offices. As a result of changes in technology, the role of graduates in business has changed tremendously from that of typewriting and shorthand dictation, answering of telephone calls and processing of mails.
The modern offices lay due emphasis on paperless office as a way of facilitating the process of correspondence handling and operation. Ekula (2010) pointed out that in offices, computers, database management and other accessories are increasingly being used to organize and control records. Graduates who could be seen as officers in charge of records, correspondence, minutes of meetings and related affairs of an organization, are expected to be able to operate the computer using Database, spreadsheet, graphic designs and word processing packages. Particularly, this calls for training of graduates in order to possess the dexterity to use most of the business/office related application packages contained in the current Windows.
The 21st century technology has changed the way things are done. Most things are now done online including office work. Luyombya (2010) posited that information technology embraces all modern systems of processing information and communication in data, text, image and voice. It is the technology that supports activities involving creation of data, storage, manipulation and communication of information together with their related methods, management and application.
Instead of file cabinets, most organizations now use computerized means to save their records, hence graduates must key in which requires skill update for proper adaptability to the work environment (Dangata, Odesanya, & Baba, 2012). Therefore graduates who are not up to date in these applications find it difficult to manage the new proceedings.
The diversities of office technologies, according to Nwaokwa and Okoli (2012), require graduates to possess new skills and sub-skills to enable them to be relevant in the modern office. The skills required to be possessed by graduates should not be gender biased. Both male and female graduates should be competent enough to demonstrate proficiency in the use of the electronic resources.
Experience also determines the degree of skills possession. According to Osuala and Okeke (2006), graduates that have gained experience on their jobs perform effectively and are amenable to positive change of attitude, work habit, skill, and performance. Experience in this study is classified as low, moderate and high depending on the years of work. Graduates who work in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state are required to possess skills for ensuring efficient management of records created and stored in computerized systems in order to adequately carry out routine office tasks regardless of their years of working experience.
Assessment is a process of measuring existing skills against the expected skills in order to develop a vision and skills profile aimed at closing the gap which exists as a result of lack of the required skills among the workers in an organization. The outcome is the training needs analysis that identifies where training is needed. From time to time, there is need for man to assess his action and those of others around him in order to determine whether those actions are good or bad, efficient or inefficient, desirable or undesirable, satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Assessment is a broad term that includes all of the various methods to determine the extent of an individual‘s achievement. Assessment refers to the methods used to determine skill gap of an employee within an organization (Singh & Goodman, 2006). To improve on the skills of graduates therefore, there is the need to assess or measure their existing skills against the estimated skills in order to close the gap which exists as a result of lack of the required skills among the graduates in organizations since graduates play pivotal role in the achievement of organizational goals.
It is therefore imperative to examine the concept of secretary. The word “secretary” originated from the Latin word “graduates” meaning a person entrusted with secrets and employed in an office to acquire or prepare information and transmit information. A secretary has been conceptualized differently by different authors. Anderson in Ogueiofor and Nwogu (2014) saw a secretary as one who can think for you, act for you, anticipate your whims, and increase your output phenomenally.
The Akinleye (2012) defined a secretary as an executive assistant who has mastery of office skills, demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, exercises initiative and judgment and makes decisions within the scope of assigned authority. From the foregoing, a secretary could be defined as an officer, who is in charge of records, correspondence, minutes of meetings, and related affairs of an organization.
This implies that both male and female graduates with different years of experience, work in polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria and are required to possess electronic records management skills in order to cope with the increasing use of electronic information technologies to create and maintain records as with records in other formats.
The problem of this study is that, despite the benefits of electronic records management, most graduates in Polytechnics still find it difficult to effectively manage records using the electronic system. Graduates are required to possess electronic records skills of, storage, retrieval, and maintenance, but there seems to be a gap in the level to which the skills are possessed by graduates working in polytechnics in Nasarawa state Nigeria.
This provoked the study on the assessment of extent of skills possessed by graduates for effective electronic records management in polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Electronic technology has greatly expanded the methods of creating, editing, maintaining, transmitting and retrieving information but observations have shown that most graduates in the Polytechnics are still using the old methods like drawers and filing cabinets which lead to misfiling and loss of records.
The results are costly delays, lost of business opportunities, and frustrated office personnel and managers being forced to make decisions based on inadequate information. In line with this scenario, Ayodele and Adeoye (2010) opined that records must be organized and properly managed for it to be of maximum value to the organization.
The foregoing seems to point to the need for effective electronic record management skills in Polytechnics. But the extent to which graduates possess the relevant skills for effective records management is not clear and requires an empirical study such as this.
The problem of this study is that, despite the benefits of electronic records management, most graduates in Polytechnics still find it difficult to effectively manage records using the electronic system. Okoye (2014) in his study pointed out that graduates possess electronic records management skills for employment in medium-scale organizations. But there seems to be a gap in the level to which the skills are possessed by graduates working in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state.
1.3 Purpose Of The Study
The major purpose of this study is to assess the electronic records management competencies requirement of office technology and management graduates in Nasarawa state.
Specifically the study sought to determine the extent graduatespossess:
- Electronic records storage skills for effective records management in Polytechnic in Nasarawa state.
- Electronic records retrieval skills for effective records management in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions.
- To what extent do graduates possess electronic records storage skills for effective records management in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria?
- To what extent do graduates possess electronic records retrieval skills for effective records management in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria?
The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
HO1:There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of male and female graduates on the extent of skills possessed for effective electronic records management in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria.
HO2: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of graduates according to their years of experience on the extent of electronic records management skills possessed for effective records management in Polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study was carried out to investigate electronic records management competencies requirement of office technology and management graduates. The study was limited to Nasarawa state.
1.7 Significance Of The Study
This study would serve as empirical evidence on electronic records management competencies requirement of office technology and management graduates in Nasarawa state. It could help university/ polytechnic administrators to create and adopt suitable policies and strategies that will improve the performance of graduate staff in management of students’ records.
Similarly, the study would be of help to the registry staff as to knowing how to manage their students’ records effectively with the broad knowledge of records management practices and computer literacy skills. The findings of this study could help in protecting the cooperate image of universities as their students’ records would be found intact at all times.
The findings of this study could equally help the government and any other establishment outside universities, private or public dealing with records in managing their records effectively and efficiently. The findings of the study could contribute to the existing knowledge and literature on records management practices, computer literacy skills and job performance of graduate staff of polytechnics in Nasarawa state, Nigeria.
Furthermore, every firm that keeps records and their administrators could find the study relevant as it would show them the caliber of staff, the impact of training and retraining and essence of having adequate facilities for records keeping and how it could boost the job performance of their organizations.
1.8 Organization Of Study
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature.
The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data.
The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
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How to nail it on the head during your project defence
You are through with writing that project. Now what?
You have found yourself at that point where you have to defend what you have written. Of course you have to stand in front of your supervisor and other literary personalities to prove that you know what you wrote in your project paper. Unfortunately, the more you think about it, the more it looks like you are about to face a legion. It is not a war. But the emotion of dread welling up inside of you makes it look like one. So now you are asking yourself questions.
- How am I going to start?
- I hope I will do well enough to get an A.
You really want to nail it, but you need to come to terms with exactly how to get everything in perfect control. Especially your emotions of fear that seem to make a wreck of you every time you think about public speaking.
So here is the deal. I want to help you avoid that feeling that would ruin your precious moment if you dare to let it. And we are going to do it together.
I am going to highlight some very important tips to help you get in control for you to be comfortable enough to move from that feeling of DREAD to CONFIDENT; and making an awesome Impression for that great rating your supervisors should be giving to you so freely.
Consider these tips as you prepare for your defence. We will be taking them one after the other so here we go.
Watch Your Body Language And Keep It Confident:
Can you tell that a person is falling apart if they look confident? … If I can second guess you rightly, am sure you answered no to that question. Remind yourself that you need to come out that way. Now this might seem like a huge big deal when you are dealing with the foreboding. Maintaining a poise of confidence is very important. So find your most comfortable position, sitting or standing and draw up your body. You must exude confidence. It is something you need to do for yourself. People can only see what you allow your body language to show. So you must endeavour to put that out. Remember the story of David and Goliath? … At the end of your defence day, you want to be David.
Dress In Your Most Comfortable And Impressive:
Am sure this one is a no brainer. However I must highlight that you choose comfortable pieces. You don’t want to look so good and yet look like you were forced to wear something that does not belong to you. It’s great to ensure that as impressive as your clothes are on you, that they are also very comfortable.
Speak With Authority:
Going hand to hand with that aura of confidence is your most powerful asset:your words. If you look that confident, your words must not come out like whimpers. To be able to pull this off, you definitely need to speak as deliberately as possible in expressing yourself. Let them also hear what they see.
Use, Your Gestures:
I have often found this to come to my rescue in dealing with shyness and conveying my confidence. Usually it gives you an edge to also drive home your point. You must, however, ensure that you do not over use it. It doesn’t mean that your hands should be flying all over the place. That would be absolutely unnecessary. If you do this well, after a while you will realize that you are not as self-conscious as you used to be at the very start. For most situations, it would have completely disappeared altogether; leaving a really confident you talking.
Have A Good Opening And Closing Line:
Make sure you have perfected a good opening line. You should also be armed with a good closing line too. Try and rehearse it to a friend. If for the first time you presented it, your friend does not say “wow, that’s beautiful” or something like that; just know you need to keep refining it until you get the perfect line. Both opening and closing lines will go a long way in how impressed your panel gets to rate you high.
Make Sure You Know Your Work:
Certainly you should understand how important it is to know your own work from start to finish. Not having in-depth knowledge of your own work is tantamount to a suicide mission. Why should you kill yourself?
When all is said and done, this is what you came to defend in the first place. You should know your work from A to Z.
Prepare For The Questions:
Now this part is truly essential. You must be sure you do not floor all the good work you did on your presentation by not answering correctly. You must pay attention to the questions you are asked to be sure you will give the right answer. Many people get it wrong at this stage and spoil their good presentation. When you do not understand any question do endeavour to ask the person to expatiate what they mean before you answer.
These tips are by no means exhaustive, but applying these tips will give you some necessary advantage you need for a great outcome. Of course that outcome would mean that you eventually earn all your points on this project.
The structure of a good project work
Undergraduate projects in Nigeria is a prerequisite for graduation amongst Nigerian tertiary students who will which to obtain bachelors degree in their respective courses of study such as accounting, banking and finance, business administration and a host of others. Writing an undergraduate project in Nigeria for final year students entails a lot both financially and otherwise. Being able to develop any final year project depends on getting a researchable topic whether it is Accounting Undergraduate project topics, Banking and Finance research topics or banking and finance project topics and materials and it all requires diligent hard work of students who are willing to develop best undergraduate projects in Nigeria and graduate in flying colors.
A typical Undergraduate project in Nigerian tertiary institutions can be said to be divided into five or six chapters depending on the format of the school and course of study which are
The introduction of an undergraduate project states the main research problem and research argument. What precisely the study is all about and why it is important. It looks at the originality of the research work and how it will fill the gap in other studies. Justification for a research undergraduate topic should not be lengthy before it has been explicitly stated.
Below are the contents in chapter one of an undergraduate research project which includes;
- Background of the study,
- Statement of the problem,
- Objectives or aims of the study,
- The research questions,
- Research hypothesis,
- Significance of the study,
- Scope of the study,
- Limitations of the study and
- Operational definition of terms.
2. Literature review
Literature review of any undergraduate research work, be it business administration project topics or Economics project topics just to mention a few is very critical to securing a high grade in one’s project work. The literature review of a research process uncovers what other writers have written about the student’s topic. A student’s undergraduate research work should include a discussion or review of what is known about the subject and how that knowledge was acquired. The review could conclude with a brief summary of the literature and its implications. The contents of the literature review are the theoretical review, conceptual framework, empirical review and summary of literature review.
3. Research Methodology
This section includes a description of the research methods used in the undergraduate research work such as the sample size, data collection methods, measurement instruments, research data analysis procedures and the population from which the sample was selected. This section also describes the method used in selecting the sample or samples, validation and reliability of the instruments used in the research work. There are different research statistical techniques used in undergraduate research work such as SPSS, e-views etc.
4. Results & Discussion
This section presents and discusses the data analysis results used in an undergraduate research work, the results of each analysis is being summarized, tabulated, and then discussed for each research question. Then for each research hypothesis, the statistical test of significance selected and applied to the data is briefly described, followed by a statement indicating whether the hypothesis was supported or not supported. In presenting the result analyses/summary in an undergraduate project tables and figures and or graph are used to add clarity to the presentation.
5. Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations
This section summarizes the findings of the study in an easy to understand manner. It also explains the practical implications of those findings, and points to recommended directions for future research in that area.
This is where every source cited in the undergraduate research work is being included. Every undergraduate research work must be properly referenced for its authenticity.
Choosing A Good Project / Research Topic
Students in Nigerian universities these days wish to choose a very simple project topic/material. There is no issue choosing a simple project topic; the only problem is your ability to choose a good project or research topic that your supervisor will easily approve for you.
Most project supervisors really want to see how good his or her project student understands his or her surrounding through the kind of topic he or she chooses for their project work.
There are some project topic that are not reject-able; for instance in Nigeria of today; what do you think is the major issue on ground now?
If a project student can choose or craft a topic on the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. Such project topic will be very interesting to write on.
Now what are the qualities of a good project topic?
- The materials for the project topic must be easily assessable.
- The project topic itself must be meaningful.
- The variables must be able to give a clear aim of the project topic.
What do I mean by variable?
Well I am deriving my point from the area of ; the variables here are those main words in the project topic.
Like the above project topic; the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. You can see the main variables that really define this project topic are:dollar, increment and economy.
Before you present your topic to your project supervisor, first of all understand your project topic, and then secondly try to do some research for your topic to see if at least you can get up to 60% of what you need to write the complete project.
I said that above because you might have a very nice topic that the materials are not available online and there are no books as regard the topic; in this case the project topic becomes difficult for you even though the topic is catchy.
What do I mean by your topic being assessable?
Well what I mean is very simple and easy to understand. Simply pick your project topic, type it on google and see if you will have at least a good background for the topic you are writing on.
If you can have a good background for your project topic and you can understand the problem associated with the project topic, then I believe the aim of the project is not far-fetched.