Task 3: Opinion Piece

Is Orientation Week only beneficial for first year students?

An imperative topic associated with students enrolled at university is if orientation week is solely beneficial for first year students. Using reflexive research methods, I have conducted a survey to uncover primary data from my peers in BCM212 about their experience with Orientation Week. A survey was produced using survey monkey and received a total of 22 responses. This form of qualitative research encourages direct engagement with individuals. Using this data, I will acknowledge the main reasons ‘for’ or ‘against’ participation in orientation week according to second and third year students, and the reasoning behind these decisions.

My survey responses delivered the strongest finding to be that Orientation Week was particularly beneficial for first year students. Whilst some responses included participants experiences of O-Week this year as a second/third year student, a great subgroup of the data itemised the benefits of attending Orientation Week as a first year student in previous years.

Surveying employs reflexive and qualitative methods of research determining the interest between second/third year university students with Orientation Week. Surveys “yield critical information and provide important windows into the heart of the topic of interest” (Litwin, 1995, p.1) to develop understanding of a topic. Correspondingly surveying implements reflexive research by highlighting “inclusion of the researcher in the subject matter” (Hardy, C Phillips, N Clegg, S 2001, p.532) consenting the addition of my own opinion amongst the opinions gathered in my responses. My survey results indicated that a minority of the respondents found Orientation most beneficial in their first year of University. This data was established through the application of survey questions: ‘Did you attend any day of Orientation Week in your first year of University?’, ‘Did you attend any day of Orientation Week this year?’, and ‘In a short sentence, why do you think Orientation Week benefits or disadvantages students?’. These questions posed personal responses such as “it’s a good way of integrating new students into university life” and, “encourages them to interact with others which is a vital aspect to the University experience”. Majority of the answers leant towards Orientation being particularly beneficial for first year students which was the strongest finding within my data collection, assisting the conclusion of my research.

Altogether I have recognised the necessity to attend Orientation Week as a first year student after reading all the benefits/positive experiences gathered within my survey answers e.g. “Benefits, particularly for first years, it’s a good way to ease them into the university experience and give them some information and involve them with events”, “it is a good way to learn about the university and get a feel for the environment. also discover clubs”. Therefore, if I were referring a student to attend O-Week I would certainly make a greater deal to promote it for first year students over second/third years. My survey highlights the benefits constituted to O-Week for new University students, also displaying the attendance rate for second/third year students this year, posing that only 2 out of the 22 participants attended.

The evidence I have gathered is highly reliable as most responses link to the same ideas being employed. My research juxtaposes the statement made by academic researcher Nasser “Orientation week is made to cater to all ages, regardless of your program and your year” (Nasser 2016) as this view is made from a different perspective. I found that academics attempt to promote Orientation Week as an event catering for any student enrolled in University, whilst from a student’s perspective it only interests first year students. Therefore the overall outcome of this research prescribes that Universities should implement a broader range of opportunities that would attract second/third year students, for example dedicated parties/events which are specific to their degree e.g. Law students pool party, Media and Communications movie night.

Within my study, I came across a limitation of how many students participated in my survey. As the subject supplies a deadline of time to work on the assessment I was limited to the time I had to prepare and collect responses from my survey. Consequently, I only received 22 survey responses, implying only 22 out of the 200 students in the BCM212 cohort had the opportunity to answer my survey. Ideally the research outcome might have been different if I had the opportunity to survey the entire cohort of BCM212. Readers of this opinion piece should be cautious of the number of participants who were involved in the survey as this may alter their final view of the research topic. The limited number of participants may persuade readers to grade the research as unreliable due to the ratio of students surveyed, to the number of students who are enrolled in University. However, the suppositions explained in this piece are all derived from the main patterns, and common responses collected from the survey data.

 

Reference List:

Hardy, C, Phillips, N, Clegg, S 2001, ‘Reflexivity in organization and management theory: A study of the production of the research ‘subject’’, Human Relations, vol. 54, viewed 10 May, <http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0018726701545001>

*Used to assist my understanding of what reflexive research is in Task 3

 

Litwin, MS 1995, How to Measure Survey Reliability and Validity, Sage Publications, California, United States of America

*Used to assist my understanding of what surveying entitles in Task 3

 

Nasser, J 2016, The Importance of O Week for all studentsThe Brock Press, weblog post, 16 September 2016, viewed 12 May 2018,

<http://www.brockpress.com/2016/09/the-importance-of-o-week-for-all-students/>

*Used to justify the difference between an academics and a student’s perspective of O-Week in Task 3

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