Internet In Professional Formation Of Students
The article presents the results of an interdisciplinary study of students of the Department of Personnel Management of the State University of Management on the topic "The role of the Internet in the process of professional development of students". The respondents were asked the following issues: about the aspects of professional information that are most interesting for students, which they select on the Internet; about the resources for obtaining information; the purpose of discovering data about the HR manager's profession and practice-oriented actions that this material stimulates; about mental methods of evaluating the information received, about emotional reactions to the profession; on the role of information in the formation of a holistic image of the profession and a professional in the field of personnel management among students. In particular, it was revealed that of the whole variety of information about the profession of a personnel manager, students are most interested in salary issues, the demand for the profession and the activities of employing organizations. Investigation demonstrates the impact of professional information on the development of thinking of future professionals (in particular, criticality), their professional identity (the formation of a holistic image of the profession and the standard of a professional); professionally important qualities (creativity and cognitive interests). It is presented that information about the profession is not always critically perceived by students, is used for a greater extending within the framework of traditional forms of education (to consolidate lecture material) and in itself does not fully stimulate their practical actions.
Keywords: Global information spaceHR managerprofessional trainingprofessional developmentprofessionalismquestionnaire
Today, the Global Information Space, Internet technologies in their "pure form" or combination with offline education are widely used at all levels of Russian education, including professional (Voronov & Tolkachev, 2010). The effectiveness of the use of the boundless potential of the Internet for organizing the educational process at a university is the most crucial problem of vocational education pedagogy. At the same time, in our opinion, it should be considered not only within the framework of pedagogical science but also in the field of psychology of professionalism, which studies the process of forming a person as a subject of labour, as well as the sphere of activity (profession) that students master. In this regard, only an interdisciplinary approach will allow identifying and assess the extent of the influence of the World Wide Web on professionalization.
Professionalization is commonly referred to as the process of professional development (Markova, 1996). Education at a university is one of the stages of professionalization – the acquisition of individual psychological personality traits by students at the appropriate level, set by educational and professional standards of competencies that are required for the effective implementation of the chosen sphere of work. At the same time, the Internet aggressively interferes with the educational process, exerting a multifaceted impact on the professional development of students.
The influence of the Internet on the process of acquiring certain competencies or their elements by students is carried out through information about the profession that is diverse in form and content, which they master at the stage of vocational training, in particular at a university. In this regard, the authors of the study posed the following research questions, which later took the form of narrower questionnaire questions:
1. What kind of information about the future profession, received by students from the Internet, has a more significant impact on their professionalization, is it critical, and what reactions (experiences, interests, actions) does the discovered material evoke in students?
2. What sources of information do students prefer to get acquainted with their future activities, and what are the motives for seeking this kind of information?
Purpose of the Study
For scientific and practical purposes, in order to discover the purpose of the Internet in the process of professional development of students and determine the directions for improving the educational process on this basis, in February 2020, a written survey was organized at the Department of Personnel Management of the State University of Management (Moscow). The authors of the article conducted research and compiled a questionnaire. The authors are teachers of the Department of Personnel Management of the State University of Management.
The respondents were undergraduate students undergoing training in the direction of training "Personnel Management" (educational program – "Personnel Management of the Organization"). Using Google Forms, they were asked to fill out a questionnaire consisting of 18 questions.
The number of survey participants was 146 students in four courses. The respondents were distributed by sex as follows: 86 % of students identified themselves as female and 14 % as male, 42.1 % of the students who took part in the survey study in the first year, 15.8 – in the second, 22.8 % – third-year students and 19.3 % are fourth-year students.
Analysis of answers to the question "How often do you select/collect information about your future profession on the Internet?" shows the following results: 44.15 % of survey participants admitted that they do it occasionally, but at least once a semester; 26.9 % – several times a month; 12.4 % of respondents are interested in their future activities only once during the academic year; 11.1 % – several times a week; 2.1 % of interviewed future HR specialists do it weekly; 0.6 % have never selected such information, and 2.8 % of respondents found it difficult to answer. As can be seen from the answers, the students of the department show insufficient cognitive activity regarding their chosen professional field.
In the course of the survey, the respondents were asked to indicate what kind of information about their future profession they specifically select on the Internet about their future profession.
As follows from the diagram, future HR specialists of all courses are mainly concerned with the size of wages. In the first year, this answer was chosen by 67.2 % of survey participants, in the second - by 56.5 %, in the third – by 78.8 %, in the fourth – by 64.3 % of the respondents. Students of the first and second years want to learn more about the demand for a profession than students of subsequent ones: 67.2 % in the first year and 60.9 % in the second; in the third and fourth year this percentage is lower – 42.4 % (third year) and 46.4 % (fourth year). However, interest in employing organizations, on the contrary, grows from course to course: 27.9 % (first year), 43.5 % (second year), 45.5 % (third year), 60.7 % (fourth year), which is an obvious fact.
Surprisingly, the history of the profession and the ways of its transformation, including modern trends, do not particularly attract the students of the department: in the first year, it is – 9.8 % of respondents; 21.8 % – in the second; in the third year – 12.1 % of the respondents and 21.4 % in the fourth. From the analysis of the answers, it can be assumed that in the classroom, little attention is paid to the aspect under consideration. Meanwhile, knowledge about the formation of HR and the future of this profession can have a significant impact on the formation of professional culture, the introduction of current students to the HR community, the choice of students in one direction or another of the type of activity and positions in the vast area of personnel management (Figure
Equally, this can be attributed to students' awareness of the role of the future profession in society, its social meaning and usefulness. The responses to this question were distributed among the respondents as follows: the first year – 39.3 %, second – 56.5 %; the third – 27.3 %; the fourth – 17.9 %. The content of the activity (object of work, competence, working conditions) is more of a concern for third-year (66.7 %) and fourth-year students (57.1 %) versus 29.5 % of surveyed freshmen and 34.8 % of second-year respondents.
The process of professionalization cannot proceed wholly without the presence in the student's mind of some ideal image of a professional (master), to whom one should strive already at the stage of study at a university. Teachers, if they are not practitioners, cannot adequately act as original demonstrative examples for students. Therefore, a realistic subject of labour is important, with which the student can identify himself. In this regard, the lack of interest in future HR managers in real successful and productive company representatives caused concern. The indicators of those who are interested in standard specific representatives of the profession among the respondents are very "modest" and decrease as graduation from the university approaches: in the first year it is 9.8 % of the respondents; in the second – 8.7 %; in the third-place – 6.1 %; on the fourth – 3.6 % (Figure
Now let us turn to specify the goals of searching for information of future personnel officers.
As can be seen from the answers, students apply information about different aspects of professional activity to a greater extent within the framework of traditional forms of the educational process. Meanwhile, within the boundaries of active teaching methods (Olympiads, writing scientific articles, developing and solving cases, speaking at conferences), the information they received is not used enough. This is an indicative marker, since it is the last types of cognitive activity, in our opinion, that makes a significant contribution to the development of students as subjects of labour at the stage of vocational training, forming creative professional thinking and analytical skills as future professionals. This theme is an urgent issue to the organization of the educational and cognitive process of the department in general, research and project activity of students, in particular.
Interesting, in our opinion, is the students' answers to the question "From what sources do you select information about your future profession?" Approximately an equal number of respondents draw material from electronic textbooks, educational and methodological literature (44.8 %) and analytics of studies (43.4 %). 33.1 % of respondents find material from the practice of companies and corporate news. 32.4 % of survey participants watch videos about the profession; 23.4 % of respondents are interested in interviews with the best representatives of the profession. About a quarter (24.8 %) are webinar and videoconference participants. 15.2 % of the respondents get the data they are interested in from documentaries and feature films.
To the question "What tools on the Internet do you use to find information about your future profession?" corresponding answers were found: 68.3 % of the surveyed students admitted that specialized portals play a dominant role in their arsenal of search tools; (62.1 %) refer to the official websites of companies; 26.9 % of respondents prefer Telegram channels, active communities on Facebook; a quarter of the respondents (25.5 %) – electronic magazines; 20.7 % – reviews of consulting agencies; only 8.9 % are participants in online conferences; 7.6 % prefer foreign specialized platforms to search for information; 5.5 % of the respondents found it difficult to answer.
The question "On whose initiative do you select information on the Internet about the profession that you are mastering at the university?" the following reactions of future HR managers were found: 63.4 % of the respondents stated that they select information on their initiative, 31.1 % – "according to the instructions/recommendations of the teacher"; 3.4 % found it difficult to answer; chose "other" 2.1 % of the respondents. Independent search for information occurs, according to individual authors, in special psychological and pedagogical conditions of individualization of education and can form not only professional but also personal individual psychological characteristics, such as self-organization, enhances the motivation for self-development and self-realization (Makhrova, 2012).
To the question "How, in your opinion, does the information received on the Internet help to understand the meaning of your future profession or not?" future personnel officers responded as follows: 60 % said that the material they found would rather help to understand the essence of their chosen activity, 33.8 % admitted that it certainly helps; 3.4 % – rather does not help, 2.8 % found it difficult to answer. Further, the question "Please tell me, after receiving information about your future profession on the Internet, has an integral ideal image of a specialist formed in your mind?" found the following reactions. More than half of the respondents from all courses (62.8 %) have a smooth, professional image "rather formed"; 11 % "definitely worked out", 19.3 % "probably did not work out"; 0.7 % "definitely didn't work out"; 6.2 % found it difficult to answer. The reactions to these questions powerfully demonstrate the following fact: the professional information obtained from the global information space, combined with the competencies formed in the learning process, generate a kind of "pre-launch" readiness of future HR managers to master the techniques, operations and technologies of activity. At the same time, information about the profession reveals to future subjects of labour the meanings and ideals of the profession, which in the future can act as a condition for high labour productivity.
The authors of the study were also interested in the problem of students' activity caused by the information received about the profession and going beyond the framework of their educational and cognitive activities. In this regard, they turned to the students of the Department of Personnel Management with the following question: "Please clarify what practical actions related to professional development were prompted by the information collected on the Internet about your future profession?" Below are the answers to this question.
The activity of the surveyed students in terms of drawing up resumes and passing an interview, growing from course to course, is commendable: 11.5 % (first year), 13.0 % (second year), 27.3 % (third year), 42.9 % (fourth course). Further, "passed the training course, studied at the training, listened to the lecture", positive answers: 13.1 % (first year), 34.8 % (second year), 15.2 % (third year), 25.0 % (fourth year in college). The answer "applied for a competition related to the profession / participated in it" was noted by 13.1 % of the surveyed freshmen; 8.7 % of second-year students; 9.1 % of third-year respondents and 21.4 % of fourth-year survey participants. Next, the answer "went to an open event organized by the company" was chosen by 16.4 % (first year), 21.7 % (second year), 15.2 % (third year) and a quarter of the surveyed fourth-year students (Figure
Analysis of the answers to this question shows that the information obtained on the Internet about the future profession rather mediocrely stimulates students to visit specialized exhibitions. 11.5 % of respondents from the first year; 4.3 % of respondents from the second; 6.1 % of third-year students and none of the survey participants from the fourth year chose this answer. Further, 9.8 % of first-year students wanted to visit the company with an excursion; 17.4 % of respondents from the second year; 6.1 % of survey participants are third-year students and 7.1 % of fourth-year students.
The teachers (the authors of the questionnaire) were especially surprised by the fact that slightly more than a third (34.5 %) of the respondents from all training courses did not demonstrate any activity at all resulting from information received from the Internet. At the same time, 44.3 % of the first-year respondents "did nothing"; 34.8 % of the surveyed students ranked second; 30.3 % from the third and 17.9 % from the fourth.
Now let us analyze the answers to the question: "Please tell me whether the information about the future profession, obtained from the Internet, complements/deepens the lecture material or not?" The following answers were recorded here: 55.2 % of the respondents stated that they "rather "complement/deepens; 35.9 % of the respondents are convinced that "certainly "complements/deepens; 5.5 % expressed their opinion "rather does not "complement/deepens; 3.4 % of the survey participants found it difficult to answer. Further, to the question "How, in your opinion, does the information about the future profession, obtained from the Internet, contribute to the comprehension/comprehension of the theoretical lecture material or not?" 60 % of the interviewed students of the department of personnel management reported that they "rather contribute"; 26.9 % – "certainly contributes"; 6.9 % – "rather does not help", 4.8 % found it difficult to answer; 1.4 % of the respondents say that they "certainly do not contribute." The students' answers once again confirm the validity and relevance of the use of multidimensional Internet resources for organizing an effective educational process, as well as the inevitability of using all possible, including professional, information from the global network to improve the design of various methods and forms of educational and cognitive activities at the university.
However, information itself has no absolute value. The creative application of professional knowledge to professionalization tasks can take many forms. For example, there are "flip learning" practices that provide an individualized approach to each learner and open the door to new opportunities for educators to build productive, interactive learning sessions to shape future professionals (Soboleva, 2019). Further, to take into account the individual characteristics of students, their interest in the future profession, manifested through the search for certain professional information on the Internet, the actively developing "hybrid training" is called upon, as a combination of online lectures and seminars with traditional classroom studies, while having its pros and cons and suitable for different levels of education (Boora et al., 2010; Hall, 2010). Following this, the independence of students in solving professional problems (this is the most important sign of professionalism), taking into account their cognitive interests, the strength of the professional information received from the network will help to implement innovative forms of student knowledge control, in particular, developed based on the Element Response Theory model (Kwan et al., 2009). Let us add that students' interest in individual representatives of the profession and in the organizations identified by them in the process of searching for information on the Internet can contribute to the inclusion of external interactivity (interaction with representatives of the HR community) in the environment of practice-oriented online training of the profession (Morrow & Bagnall, 2010).
The authors of the questionnaire were also worried about the form of presenting material about the profession, which attracts the attention of future HR managers. Here, to the question "Please specify which types of educational visibility for your future profession, posted on the Internet, are the most informative/meaningful/interesting for you?" respondents responded as follows. Slightly more than half of the respondents (52.4 %) are attracted to presentations; 50.3 % of the respondents pay attention to the examples that specialists tell; 31.1 % of respondents are interested in schemes; 28.3 % of the surveyed students chose graphics, films/animations, tables; 23.4 % of respondents are fascinated by pictures, drawings, reproductions, posters about the profession; 19.3 % of respondents pay attention to diagrams; 15.9 % of survey participants prefer to study photographs; 11.1 % of respondents are attracted by infographics; 2.8 % of respondents found it difficult to answer.
Any data received on the Internet needs to be consciously perceived by the recipient. The above fully applies to information about the profession received by students from the worldwide information network, and the ability to weigh the content of data, to determine their value is the leading competence of a manager. In this regard, the question is fascinating and important: "Tell me, please, the information about your future profession, obtained from the Internet, is you critically assessed or not?"
Here are the judgments of the students we interviewed in this regard: 33.1 % of the survey participants simply view/read the information; 30.3 % only remember/reproduce in class; 29.7 % of the respondents evaluate the material critically; 6.9 % of respondents found it difficult to answer (Figure
Relevant, in the opinion of the authors of the questionnaire, is the following question to the students of the department: "Please specify, if you critically evaluate information from the Internet about your future profession, what kind of mental actions/operations do you carry out?"
Let us consider individual answers of students (by course). Evaluate information for practical orientation 23 % of the first-year respondents, 13 % of the respondents from the second year, 33 % of third-year students and a quarter of the respondents from the fourth. It should be noted that complex mental actions are not fully implemented by future HR specialists who participated in the survey. So only about ten per cent (9.8 %) of respondents from the first year, 13 % from the second, 9.1 % from the third and 17 % of the fourth-year students surveyed try to find a contradiction in the information they receive. Only 1.6 % (first year), 4.3 % (second year), 6.1 % (third year), and 14 % (fourth year) try to find the problem and suggest options for solving it.
Meanwhile, the considered mental actions, which are extremely necessary for a modern specialist, are formed at the stage of training, including professional training. In this regard, when building programs of academic disciplines, implemented by the department, it is worth paying particular attention to the methods of problem learning. The purpose of problem-based teaching methods is to stimulate the research and cognitive activity of students by presenting them to solve problem situations (as a rule, associated with a future profession) and the absence of ready-made template answers.
To the question "Tell me, please, do you share information about your future profession received from the Internet in the classroom (ask questions, give examples and arguments) or not?" a third (33.8 %) of the survey participants chose the answer "share"; about a quarter (24.8 %) – "do not share, but are going to share"; 22.1 % of the respondents answered that "they do not share and are not going to share"; 19.3 % found it difficult to answer. In our opinion, the data on the future profession discovered by students on the Internet should be more actively used within the framework organized by the teacher of such forms of educational and cognitive activities as educational discussion and project work. These forms of work directly develop the communicative competencies of future professionals in the HR field, the motives for professional cooperation and the prestige of the profession in society.
Significant signs of successful professionalization are the high motivation of the activities carried out, and the stable interest in it formed during the period of professional training. Because of this, the data on the profession taken by students from the global information network can play an important role in the formation of these properties. To the question "Do you think the information obtained on the Internet stimulates the desire to master a profession, receive special training, or not to succeed in a profession?" more than half of the respondents (53.8 %) answered that they "rather stimulate"; 29.6 % of the respondents believe that they "definitely stimulate"; 8.3 % of survey participants found it difficult to answer; 7.6 % answered that they "rather do not stimulate"; 0.7 % of the respondents said they "definitely do not stimulate".
Information of various kinds stimulates not only the response of the cognitive sphere of the individual (assessment of information) but also generates certain emotional reactions. In this regard, the students were asked the question: "Please specify, what reaction the information about the profession you acquire at the university evokes in you, selected on the Internet?"
It is commendable that the students of the department carry out the process of searching for information about their future occupation in order to satisfy their cognitive interests. This answer is the most popular for respondents in all courses: 70.1 % (first year), 73.9 % (second year), 66.7 % (third year), 60.7 % (fourth year). Further, as the survey showed, the information obtained about the profession contributes to the formation of enthusiasm for the future profession among a significant number of research participants. Also, the senior students we surveyed are more inspired by profession than first-year students and sophomores: 37.7 % (first year), 38.4 % (second year), 54.5 % (third year), 57.1 % (fourth year ). Zeal for a future profession is demonstrated by 11.1 % of first-year respondents, 4.3 % of sophomores, 21.2 % of third-year students, and 14.3 % of senior students surveyed (Figure
At the same time, one can observe negative emotional responses of respondents to their chosen profession after finding information about it in the global information space. So disappointment is experienced by 1.6 % (first year), 0 % (second year), 6.1 % (third year), 7.1 % (fourth year); boredom is felt by 3.3 % (first year), 0 % (second year), 0 % (third year), 10.7 % (fourth year). Confusion (confusion) appeared in 8.2 % of the first-year respondents, 17.4 % of the second, 12.1 % of third-year students and 7.1 % of fourth-year respondents. Doubts about the correctness of their professional choice were expressed by 16.4 % of the first-year students we surveyed, 13 % of the sophomore respondents, 15.2 % from the third year, and 3.6 % of the interviewed senior students. The described negative reactions are possibly associated with the receipt of low-quality information by future HR managers, selectivity in search (in particular, the emphasis on negative reviews about the profession on the forums), difficulties in the search process itself, and the inclusion of the information received in a certain context (for example, in the content of the presentation, solution or creation of cases, writing term papers).
The authors of the study are satisfied with the data received and will continue to study this interdisciplinary problem. However, first, they formulated the following conclusions.
1. The process of obtaining information from the Internet by students about all sorts of theoretical and practical aspects of personnel management should be organized and managed by a teacher. At the same time, the initiative of students, their spontaneous or purposeful "search" independence on the Internet, curiosity concerning their future profession requires all-round support.
2. Directly the process of searching for material about the future profession, purposefully directed by a teacher or carried out by students on their initiative, fully reflects the implementation of the following didactic principles: professional orientation of training, its visibility and the activity of students in their development. This fact is crucial for achieving high efficiency of educational and cognitive activity as an indispensable condition for successful professional development, as well as the formation of professional interests that reflect the motivational sphere of future subjects of labour. At the same time, the lack of criticality in assessing Internet data among a significant part of the students surveyed results in a serious pedagogical problem, requiring not only separate digital readiness but also increased attention to the development of the thinking abilities of students at the university.
3. As the survey results convincingly show, the content of material from the Internet, woven into the learning process, is capable of fully developing various properties (competencies, personality traits) of students as future HR professionals. In particular, these are professional thinking, sustainable professional motivation, cognitive interest in future activities, specific positive emotional reactions to the profession. Together with other individual psychological characteristics, they constitute the professional "platform" of a professional's personality – a set of professionally essential qualities and properties.
4. The results of the study of the role of the Internet in the professional development of future HR managers identified individual problems. Such problems are, for example, a certain one-sidedness of the content of the obtained professional information, the lack of their critical assessment and understanding, the limited educational goals of using the data obtained, as well as the low practice-oriented activity of students based on the results of discovering information about a future profession. These difficulties and miscalculations can be overcome by giving the search for information a purposeful form, as well as more actively include the information discovered and carefully selected by students in the training sessions of various forms and methods, conducted within the framework of traditional, online, hybrid and other relevant models of professional training.
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