E-portals can act as a powerful tool to
help universities to improve their educational activities, such as downloading
of study curriculum, course materials, downloading of internship letter, delivery
of course, student’s registration, student’s enrollment, student’s personal
data management and access to examination results. Other activities that could
be achieve through the use of e-portal are enhancement and features such as academic
calendar, memo, to do list, schedules, hours of operation, news and announcement,
alerts, advertisement on scholarship programme, students discounts, forms,
course registration, academic regulation handbook, student disciplinary book, reports
and documents, search, course schedules, grades, transcripts. With the
advancement of web applications, portals are turning into an undeniably
critical piece of the data innovation system of university as they look to
coordinate the immense scholarly assets inside a virtual space that is
effectively available by means of a website. This is why UNISEL student portal
can be defined as a one-stop information centre because; a one-stop centre is a
service or providing selection of goods at a single location. Hence, the
versatility of an e-portal or student portal. This research paper explores Bachelor of Corporate Communication (BOCC) student’s
perception of UNISEL student portal as a one-stop information centre with the
factors of message content, visual content and timeliness.

 

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

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An e-portal or student portal is an online website where students
can get to the online timetable, enrollment framework, see their evaluations,
ask for archives and refresh their contact data, adding and dropping courses.
It additionally incorporates connections to the learning administration framework,
library and other online administrations for the students.

 

 

A classification by Rainer as mentioned in Shaltoni,
Khraim, Abuhamad, and Amer, Factors
Influencing Students’ Usage Satisfaction Toward University Web Portal: A
Pls-Sem Analysis, 2015, portals was given in
which portals were categorized into

·        
Commercial portals which
offer content for all kinds of communities

·        
Corporate portals that
provide access to rich content within relatively narrow corporate and partners’
communities. They also are known as enterprise portals.

·        
Publishing portals which are
intended for communities with specific interests.

A student portal is a site that personalizes service and data to
the needs of universities’ staff, students and guests. This can be considered
among the corporate portals category tended to above.

In simple terms student portal was created and introduced to
students of the university as a means to organize and enable students to do their
affairs and important activities like in which is personalized to there needs
like, class timetable, class enrollment, examination result checking,
examination slip printing, scholarship openings, academic handbook, examination
timetable, examination location, notices of payment, academic calendar, student
disciplinary book, memo and forms. Hence, minimizing the time spent on doing
the activities manually and eliminating the process of queuing up in line.

Bachelor of Corporate Communication (BOCC) students’ perception
towards UNISEL student portal as a one-stop information centre will be the main
focus chosen by the researcher for this study. The study will be based on the
message content, visual content and timeliness on the portal. The target
respondents for this research would be BOCC students from UNISEL Shah Alam
campus.

 

1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT

 

As
the student portals becomes a gateway to information and services on the web,
the student portals must provides detail information and links to a wide range
of data required by the prospective students, alumni, undergraduate, staff
members or worldwide bodies and most university in Malaysia have put colossal
assets in the making of student portal to exploit the conceivable outcomes that
student portal has to offers. This has made numerous universities in Malaysia
to have their own corporate presence on the web.

Student
services are the “administrative backbone of higher education” and are
oftentimes the first and last contact points of the students (Voorhis and
Falkner, 2004). Furthermore, an adequate support services plays an essential
role in creating a feeling of belonging to students who do not have access to
traditional services (Usun, 2004) Online enrollment programs is quickly
expanding yet managing the students has been a gigantic test for institution
not sufficiently enough to offer appropriate administrative help to the
students in this dynamic populace (Bruso as mentioned in Floyd and Powell,
2004).

Various
investigations have given confirmations that there is obviously a high drop-out
rate in internet learning programs in spite of their expanding request (White
and Weight (2000), as cited in Steinbrown and Merideth (2003), announced that
students leave on account of confinement, quickened pace, contending duties and
specialized issues. An investigation made by the Blackboard Institute (2010)
between higher education foundations underscored the importance of a effective
university support service in maintaining a successful web based learning
encounters. In a comparative way, it portrayed the students’ benefits as a “diverse
set of offerings that institutions develop and deliver to enhance the student
experience and improve learning outcomes”. These administrations extend
from admission and enrollment to students’ money related record and specialized
help.

At
the point support services are made on the web, they are available to be access
by the students at any given time and place (Kenworthy, 2003), and,
accordingly, guarantee immediacy. The online student portal was frame inside
this idea. University student portal is a web based application that offers an
assortment of service. It gives the students an all day, every day “centralized
point of access to information and services” and it is composed as a one-stop
information focus in giving customized service to students, faculty and staff
(Presley and Presley, 2009). (Liao, 2011) emphasized the significance of always
enhancing the convenience of portals to meet the requests of users and keeping
in mind the end goal to advance portal loyalty, user must be furnished with “increasing
and pleasurable experience”.

Despite
the fact that student portals offers an awesome potential in decreasing time
for student to do their personal business, it ought to be produced in a way
that obliges each students needs. As per Hara and Kling (1999), poorly
developed and structured web-based applications cause students to be
disappointed. Their disappointments will hinder the student’ education
opportunities (Hara and Kling, 1999).

Lately
many undergraduates in Universiti Selangor (UNISEL) have voice out their
dissatisfaction with the service; many of them believe that their current
student portal performance is not up to their expectation like frequent server
down, confusion of the content and late posting of information. The hindrance
usually occurs during exam slip printing, exam result week and the start of a
new semester. Additionally, there are some complains about UNISEL student
portal services which has been shared on a number of social media outlets, in a
posting in 2015 at Comm Dept Fcvac Unisel Facebook page the students is
perplexed by the sudden change of lecturers from what they registered for to
what is in the timetable, also as recently as 2017 July semester, numerous
amount of complains was made by the students at the Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar
Unisel 2017 – MPP – Aduan Mahasiswa, Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar Unisel 2017/2018
(Rasmi) and UNiSEL ICLS 2017/2018 Facebook group page that they could not
access the student portal to print out their examination slip and that they
could not access the examination result page when it is available. In Twitter,
a student tweeted about UNISEL student portal server being down for a week.

The
most prominent problem with student portal is the late posting of class
timetable, this problem occurs during the start of the semester which students
are required to know the timetable of classes for adding and dropping subjects
for the semester. Sometimes it will take them until the start of classes during
that semester. With the late posting it will halt the student’s progress to add
and drop subjects, they need to know the timetable to avoid classes from
clashing with each other time, thus making them miss out on classes during the
first week in order to fix the problem of class clashing with each other. Not
only students are affected by this, lecturers and staffs are also implicated
with this problem. Prominently, lecturers are affected rather than the latter
since they need to use the same online timetable to know the classes they will
be teaching these are most UNISEL students, faculty members and staff will
face.

This
research will focus on the perception of students. It is to analyze student’s
perception of the existing online student portal as a tool that provides immediate
information to students as a form of a one-stop information centre in UNISEL.
Three variables of the UNISEL student portal will be evaluate: message content,
visual content and timeliness.

 

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS?

i)                   
Are the message content
provided in the UNISEL student portal supply sufficient information?

ii)                 
Are the visual content
provided in the UNISEL student portal supply sufficient information?

iii)               
Are the required
information on the UNISEL student portal provided on time?

 

1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

i)                   
To study the message
content of UNISEL student portal towards Unisel Shah Alam students.

ii)                 
To study the visual
content of UNISEL student portal towards Unisel Shah Alam students.

iii)               
To study the timeliness
of UNISEL student portal in posting of information.

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