Individual portfolio – Part 1: Views on future of university education

Part 1: Data analysis: What do XXX University students think about the future of university education and why?

As a college student, we may be the most suitable people to share our ideas about the issue future education in the university. In the following, we will have an analysis on the ideas and views collected from XXX University students on the issue of the future of university education.

i Research method and justification

Based on the current situation of XXX University students as well as the requirements from this topic, we adopted questionnaires and interviews as the research methods for us to further dig the information on XXX University students views on the future of university education.

Questionnaire

In the first place, according to Snell and Bohlander (2007), questionnaires means refers to the research method which is made up of a series of questions as well as some related prompts aimed to collect proper and expected information and data from respondents.

In the next place, the reason why we recommend using questionnaires to gather information is that there a variety of advantages of this means to assist us to fulfill our research aim so as to gather a great deal of proper and useful information.

Primarily, versatility is one of the factors why we use questionnaires method. Thomas (2009) told us that nearly every problem in the research including business research such as marketing research and social research involving people can be reached from these standpoints from this measure. Due to this, points of views related to our research topic about XXX University students’ ideas on the future of university education may be gained via addressing students these questions related to our topic. And many ideas and points of views may be studied by us depending on questions from questionnaires because sometimes, students knowledge, ideas, motivations as well as intentions may be not so easy and open to us to obtain only via observation. And again, Downs and Adrian (2004) also pointed out that besides the already gained records, we may also get much fresh ideas about these recipients such as why they have such ideas on the future university education, the background information of these students which contributed to their ideas, and so on.

At the same time, the characteristics of fast speed and low cost are the other research for us to use questionnaire means to gather information. Babbie (2010) mentioned that questioning as the measures is faster and cheaper compared to observing. For instance, we can frankly and directly ask XXX University students about their ideas on the future of university education and why they have such kinds of ideas. While if we adopt the observing measure, we have to wait a certain period to observe these students from their discussion with their classmates or from other related actions to our research topic, the results obtained may sometimes not be so satisfactory either. Based on the limited research time and the topic content which require direct and correct information collecting measure, we adopted questionnaire means.

Interview

Although the questionnaire measure has so many advantages, it doesnt mean all of these required information can be collected properly, we also used face to face interview to facilitate this research to make the information obtained more effectively. Bryman and Alan (2001) told us the interview measure as one of the widely used research method which is aimed to collect descriptions as well as information from these life world interviewees related to the described phenomena. The main reasons for us to adopt this measure are in the following.

The first advantage of face to face interview is that as the interviewer we may be able to choose proper and suitable methods to address the research questions and clarify doubts to interviewees. For example, as some XXX University students may have doubts on the research topic. For instance, some of the students may have questions on what areas should they refer to the future university education. At this time, the advantage of face to face interview measure may show. As the interviewer, we may guide these interviewees to find out the proper direction of these questions. For instance, we may give them some clues such as the teaching methods for the future university education, necessary hard wares for the future university education and so on. At the same time, we may be able to depend on some nonverbal clues including body language and face expressions from these interviewees to observe and evaluate this obtained information much effectively. (Mooney, Knox & Schacht2010)

Another advantage of face to face interview is its flexibility (Wiersma & Jurs 2009). For example, as the researcher, we may be able to choose the most suitable manner and questions to the specific interviewees according to our understanding about the interviewee as we are both the student of XXX University in the same university. As we are so flexible to pick up necessary questions towards different people, we may be more freely to clarify doubts and make sure these answers are key to the points of our topic- what XXX University students ideas on the future of university education and why.

Generally speaking, with the help of face to face interview measure, it may be more possible for us to obtain expected results and correct information by properly observing the facial expressions and body language from interviewees.

ii Sampling methods implementation

To better fulfill the research, some students of XXX University, who have different nationality, are chosen to help us fulfill this research. And as I am a Chinese, the sampling population is made up of a large part of Chinese XXX University students.

Questionnaire implementation

Based on the current situation of XXX University students in our college and the requirements from this topic, identical questionnaires are used to gather information from the target population to analyze XXX University students views on the future of university education.

As the questionnaires are designed identically to gather information, we adopt some tools to assist this research including dichotomous question, closed ended questions as well as some open questions.

For example, as Thomas (2009) told us that the dichotomous question in questionnaire refers to two way namely yes or no question. As the aim of this research is to find out the views of XXX University students on the future of university education, we designed some dichotomous questions in the questionnaires. Table 1.0 is a part of dichotomous question in our questionnaire.

Table 1.0 A example of dichotomous question

 

Do you agree the future of university education will have the following characteristics?
1. The university education in future will be more inclusive. 2. The curriculum for the future university education will be more broad and diverse. Yes / NoYes / No

Yes / No

Interview implementation

In terms of face to face interview for the XXX University students, both structured and unstructured interview questions are implemented to assist our research (Leedy & Ormrod 2001). For example, the target people are asked some identical questions by the interviewers on their attitudes towards future of university education. These questions are the same as table 2.0 shows.

Table 2.0 Structured questions in the face to face interview

1. How do you think about the development towards the future of university education and why?2. What specific development areas do you think the future university education will involve in and why?

3. Do you have some expectations or suggestions for the future of university educations some as the quality of education facility, the assistant tools or equipment for future education and so on?

iii Research result evaluation

From the questionnaires and face to face interview methods, a great deal of information of XXX University students ideas on the future of university education are obtained, which are classified into three kinds of ideas.

Optimistic attitudes

A large number of XXX University students in our college show an optimistic attitude towards the future of university education. As some students predicted that in the future, the higher education will be shaped by technology to a large part. For example, as one student said that in the future the online learning will become a mainstreaming globally. And he also told us why he had such predication. On the one hand, in the current time, not only many multinational companies but also some small business has invested a certain amount of money and resources on the online training courses for their employees. And on the other hand, lots of university both famous ones and ordinary ones have introduces some online courses for their students. And such kind of online courses has enjoyed prosperity. Due to the advantages of online courses such as cheap, fast, time save, convenience and the fast developing speed of the technology, the future university education will develop fast and the online learning will be a mainstream with the assistance of technology.

Besides the above idea, some XXX University students also believe that the globalization will become another trend for the future of university education. These students also give us the reasons why they form such kind of idea towards the future university education. One Chinese student said “There are more and more students go overseas to pursuit the higher education just as me. Although I’m a Chinese, I have greater freedom when choosing university education for me. And in the future, with the development of economy and the influence of globalization, I believe that more and more students may have greater freedom to choose their university education compared with today. They can choose to student in every place or every country as they like.

Generally speaking, based on the information of XXX University students on the future of university education, we can get that some of a large amount of people have a positive and optimistic attitude towards the future of university education, which are because the fast developing speed of technology and economy they think.

Pessimistic attitude

Compared with the optimistic attitudes towards the future of university education, one or two interviewed XXX University students have negative attitudes.

As one student said, the economic downturn situation and worse quality of the current generation than before made him have a negative attitude towards the future generation. She said people in the university in future may have received a broad and wide knowledge than today, but the ability for use and operate their knowledge may be low. The reason behind this is because some parents may over protect their children especially in some Asian countries especially in China. Although university may give students a great deal of useful information, there may be a lack of practising platform for students to development their ability to use. And this student also give some suggestion to the future university education that it is necessary and important to emphasize both the classing ability such as passing examination and the practising ability such as how to really attract customers in the real market place instead of being an armchair strategist.

Sitting on the hedge

Besides the above ideas, some students are seemed rational. They both predicted the positive development for the future of university education and pointed out some aspects requiring consideration.

On the one hand, some students show their positive ideas on the fast development such as the online technology, the globalization trend as the optimistic students ideas. Besides this, they also predicted that in future, the university education may be more available and affordable to all the people who can gain benefit from university education or want a university education. It is because the development of education and countries as well as the influence of globalization.

On the other hand, there are some points worth taking care. Some students pointed out that as the development of university education in the future; there will be more requirements on the quality of the faculty. These requirements may become great pressure for this population. So for both the university and countries, it is necessary to offer full assistance to this population to better facilitate the healthy development of the future education.

Reference

Babbie, E.R. 2010, The practice of social research, 12th edn, Cengage Learning, Belmont,

Bryman, L. & Alan, W. 2001, Social research methods, Oxford University Press, Oxford,

Downs, C. W. & Adrian, A.D. 2004, Assessing organizational communication: Strategic communication audits, The Guilford Press, New York,

Leedy, P. & Ormrod, J. 2001, Practical research: Planning and design, 7th edn, Merrill Prentice Hall, Thousand Oaks,

Mooney, L. A., Knox, D. & Schacht, C. 2010, Understanding social problems, Cengage Learning, Belmont,

Snell, S. & Bohlander, G. 2007, Human resource management, Thomson South-Western, Ohio,

Thomas, G. 2009, How to do your research project, SAGE Publications Ltd, California,

Wiersma, W. &  Jurs, S.G. 2009, Research methods in education: an introduction, Pearson, London,

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