So I have been working hard this week on my data analysis to help influence the next part of my study. By next part – I pretty much mean this week. I need to be reflecting by the weekend.
I have completed all the quantitative analysis and there have been some useful pointers to direct the next part of this study. This has involved looking at demographics data and comparing it between the University population and our own access statistics. This gets a lot more interesting when cross tabulated – but I’ll keep it simple for now. This is nothing drastic here – the service is being accessed by students from a whole host of demographics which is very reassuring. I’ll review some of the interesting areas here:
Despite the university population lacking the dramatic gender gap experienced within other institutions (See the 2013 article in the Guardian – Where are all the men?), there is a notably less appointments from male students. Indeed, they make up only 34.3% of appointments. Are men less likely to see 1:1 help in learning and development? Would online courses and resources be more attractive to them?
Compared to the university population, we relatively see more ‘older students’. This is perhaps not to be unexpected as the return to education or a break in study can often lead to the need for more learning and development support. This however is an assumption and this needs to be understood. It could also be a case that ‘younger students’ are less likely to seek learning and development help. This could be an issue – especially as they are unaware how digitally illiterate they are (ALDinHE Conference). Clearly a good area for further research!
FT/PT and UG/PG
For both mode of study (part-time/full-time) and level of study (undergraduate/postgraduate) there was a weighting towards one group – even if just slightly. This was ‘full-time’ for mode and ‘undergraduate’ for level. This may be for several reasons and would be interesting to research. It could be that part-time and postgraduate students are naturally more independent – it could however indicate a need for other forms of provision for these groups.
Relatively speaking, we see slightly more international students – but this is not a surprise as they are studying degree level of higher qualifications in second language. Once again however this is an assumption and is something that could be investigated.
Is this not all terribly
Well maybe. But one thing I have to admit is that this isn’t exactly how I expected the data to turn out. To be honest, I suspected we’d be seeing proportionally less mature students, or postgraduates or some other clear-cut category. The results however showed us performing really well. The gender balance however – now there is something I did not expect. Out of everything, it appears gender is the one to look at for now.
I am unsure why this surprised me at the time. To be honest – gender issues like this are present across the HE sector. What interests me however is why male students at hull are less likely to seek our support. This is interesting for my study as ultimately: would further online and self-help support be more beneficial to male students?
More research is needed. At last I feel more informed now and know where I am heading!