The growth and development of these sites appears to have been supported by

The growth and development of these sites appears to

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The growth and development of these sites appears to have been supported by four funding mechanisms: 1) separate fees charged to organizations (e.g., schools) that in turn provide access to their members (e.g., students), 2) access is bundled with fees paid for PC-based systems, 3) access is free and granted to members of a certain group (e.g., an entire state) due to underwriting by a government agency, and 4) access is universal due to underwriting by a government agency. There is currently no evidence of an Internet CIDS that derives direct support from an individual, fee per service basis. While these Internet-based CIDS are not directly supported by individual users, it is the individual who ultimately benefits from these sites. However, not all of these individuals have the capability to initiate or sustain the career exploration and decision-making process (Sampson, Peterson, Reardon, & Lenz, in press). Varying degrees of professional support for CIDS use may be necessary depending upon user needs (Sampson, 1997). None of the sites include a description of circumstances where users may need help applying the information to their specific needs. It would benefit these users if sites included contact information for local referral sources based upon user needs. 6
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Differential Feature-Cost Analysis of Internet-Based CIDS Basing the design of Web sites for career information delivery on a needs-based model, helps individuals to more quickly find information that meets their needs while understanding how to use the information they receive (Sampson, 1999). Traditionally, the user has been required to learn the navigation metaphors and "rules" of a particular Web site in order to find the information which they seek. In a needs-based design, CIDS features are categorized by commonly occurring user needs. For example, college graduates often need to conduct a job search and high school students often desire to explore their occupational interests. This approach requires user reflection and provides a framework with which users can match their needs to features available on the site. A great deal of the information about site developers and site content is contained in separate Web sites about the developer or sponsoring organization. This information is not well integrated into the Internet CIDS themselves. Users may begin their search for career information at the Web site address for the Internet CIDS, thus missing the opportunity to find this valuable information. For example, while developers often identify themselves on their CIDS site, this identification may not be linked to the qualifications of the developer, which is posted on a different Web site. Therefore, consumers have less information with which to make informed choices about the quality of available sites. Although a qualified developer does not ensure the existence of a valid CIDS, it is one useful piece of information individuals may use in selecting quality sites.
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