How Students Serve From Home: An Exploratory Study on the Influence of Work-From-Home on Work Performance and Learning Outcomes in a Service-Learning Internship Programme

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and changed the way we teach and learn, and service-learning (S-L) is no exception. New technology makes learning and working from home (WFH) possible, yet it also changes the way we interact dramatically. Literature stated that successful remote internship programmes need to personalise students’ experiences by fostering peer interaction, professional networking and quality and meaningful work. The current study examined how WFH influences the learning outcomes of a S-L internship programme. Thirteen students participated in a eight-week internship in four different community partner organisations, which adopted different work modes - WFH, face-to-face (F2F) and mixed. After the internship, the students and the partner organisation representatives were interviewed to opine their experience about how their work modes shaped performance. The data analysis employed a content analysis which obtained 261 codes about the impacts of different work modes and the key factors to WFH success. Results indicated that the respondents preferred F2F over WFH, with mostly positive impacts on the former and negative to the latter. Among them, communication has become one of the key factors in driving F2F success and WFH failure. Other negative impacts of WFH include difficulty in organising activities, distractions at home, less task variety, lower work efficiency, lower work quality, and not motivated to work. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, WFH brought various benefits, including good for student learning, better task/time management, and a conducive work environment. In addition, the key factors for WFH success include good preparation for WFH, agreements regarding work rules and expectations in advance, prior WFH experience; one’s motivation such as self-discipline, being responsible and proactive; suitable job nature such as independent tasks; effective communication; sufficient organisational support; and mutual trust and empowerment. A model was developed to better understand how the key factors affect intern's work performance under WFH.

Conference

ConferenceThe 3rd Conference for Higher Education Research – Hong Kong 2020
Abbreviated titleCHER-Hong Kong 2020
Period13/11/2014/11/20
Internet address

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