Section

Student experience

Abstract

Research at the University of New South Wales with Defence Force Academy students found time-management skills significantly improve the academic results of male students but not female students when controlling for the usual effect of prior academic ability. While much previous research has revealed a positive link between time management and academic results within civilian environments, there is a lack of research on this link in dual-military or employment and academic settings. Our research also extends on many national and international studies’ by researching the efficacy of a direct training intervention in time-management skills. The study is unique in evaluating the size of the likely effect on academic results. This study used a mixed-methods evaluation design and a standardised questionnaire to compare two groups of 70 first-year undergraduate students. The experimental group were taught time-management skills in a workshop setting, while a control group did not attend time-management workshops. While the time-management workshop interventions did not improve the academic performance of female students, female students did benefit comparably to males in fewer subject failings and improved attitudes towards time-management attributes. The findings confirm an effect between time-management skills and academic success that offers substantial savings from fewer lost students. Recommendations are made to improve time-management skills and academic performance for all transitioning university students and examine if this significant effect translates to other initial training employment.

Practitioner Notes

1. First year students experience significant challenges to transition. 2. Time management is a key success factor for effective first year transition. 3. Time management training creates higher student success and retention.

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