The purpose of this study is to investigate university students’ needs for learning support services in a comprehensive university in order to suggest better design and development of the learning support system. The study is not only to understand university students’ needs in relation to the functions and contents of the learning support system, but also to analyze the differences among students in terms of demographic backgrounds. A questionnaire was send to 2000 students who were randomly selected by proportionate stratified method. There were 1703 returned with 1681 valid. The valid return rate is 84%.
The results of this study were documented as follows:
1.The priorities of students’ needs in the functions of the learning system are in such orders: research resources, organizing ability, learning strategies and skills, foreign language learning skills, logic thinking and research tools utilization, learning diagnoses and knowledge acquiring.
2.The priorities of needs for the content of the learning system are in such orders: foreign language learning skills, academic writing training, critical and innovative thinking training, research grants support, oral presentation and expression skills, examination-taking skills.
3.There are significant differences in the needs for the functions of learning support services among different genders, colleges study, grades, enrollment status, academic ranking, usage of learning facilities, ways of pressure-resolution and help seeking.
4.There are significant differences in the needs for the items of learning support services among different genders, colleges study, grades, enrollment status, academic ranking, usage of learning facilities, ways of pressure-resolution and help seeking.
The suggestions of the research were summarized as follows:
To the case university, following measures should be taken:
1.To provide both undergraduate and graduate students with the most needed learning support services, such as foreign language learning skills, academic writing training, critical and innovative thinking training.
2.To provide faculty with the training of counseling students in learning, tutor training, diagnosing problems and counseling students, as well as special student case study.
3.To provide male students with practicum opportunity, counseling on the establishment of good learning attitude, training of use of research tools. As to the female students, it is necessary to provide them with the skills of oral presentation and expression, counseling on selecting courses, minors, transfer opportunities and double majors, speech skills, foreign language learning skills, as well as training in academic writing.
4.To provide business and technical college students with the supports in foreign language learning skills, logic thinking and the usage of research tools.
5.To provide freshman, second year and third year students with the supports in diagnoses of learning and knowledge acquisition. As to the graduate students, the support mechanisms should be put on the services of logic thinking and the usage of research tools, as well as research resources acquisition.
6.To provide customized learning support services for students with different genders, colleges study, grades, enrollment status, academic ranking, usage of learning facilities, ways of pressure-resolution and help seeking.
For the future research, following topics are suggested:
1.A study on the satisfaction of learning support unit.
2.A needs assessment for the learning supports of international students.
3.A study on the needs of the learning support system from faculty perspectives.
4.A need assessment for the learning support system of doctoral students.
5.A study on the factors related to the student’s needs for learning supports.
6.A comprehensive design of learning support systems for university.