Research Analyst students help promote importance of student voice

Hands-on learning is a key component of all Georgian programs, allowing students to apply what they learn in class in a professional setting. First and second semester students from the Research Analyst graduate certificate program recently got the chance to volunteer and help promote the Ontario College Student Experience Survey to their peers.

The student volunteers set up tables around the Barrie Campus to raise awareness of the survey and explained the importance of amplifying the student voice. They learned how to confidently talk to other students with an ethical approach and practiced different promotion techniques to encourage students to share their feedback.

Research Analyst student Stephanie Junes says this was an amazing opportunity that strengthened her research skills, communication, professionalism, and networking.

“I gained so much valuable experience working on this survey promotion while learning about institutional research at Georgian College. I learned a lot about the logistics and importance of survey design, targeting a population, examining project goals, and providing survey feedback. Being able to support a college-wide project that provides a voice for students to improve programs and services was really rewarding for me.”

After the survey period, students were asked to comment on the administration process of the survey and how it could be improved for the future. They also communicated regularly with the survey lead from Georgian’s Institutional Research and Strategic Insights department, developing effective verbal and written communication skills.

Three students stand together in front of a large window, with a sign and table in the background.
Two students stand behind a table with a blue tablecloth, a sign and a TV screen in the background.

“This experience helped me understand the on-ground execution and implementation phase of a research study, which included talking to a lot of students,” adds Research Analyst student Vashishtha Joshi. “The best part was starting a conversation with students walking by the stall and then mentioning the survey; I ended up making a lot of new friends.”

“I also gained a new perspective because as researchers, we always think more about the methodology, the analysis or meeting the objectives, and less about how beneficial the results could be for a larger audience. While promoting the survey, I got to explain more about the effectiveness of the survey results for students.”

As Research Analyst students search for their co-op positions, they’ll be able to add this to their resumé as an example of hands-on learning in a real-world environment. Richard Rinaldo, Research Analyst Program Co-ordinator, says, “What separates Georgian’s Research Analyst program from other similar programs is the variety of experiential learning opportunities provided to students. From survey work to completing a capstone project with an industry partner, our students gain critical real-world experience that allows them to stand out from the pack.”

“This was a great opportunity for students to experience first-hand the administration of this college-wide survey and provide us with valuable feedback to improve our processes,” says Angela Sutton, Director, Institutional Research and Strategic Insights. “In fact, one of the volunteers successfully secured a co-op position with our department, offering more opportunities to participate in different research projects that support organizational improvements for Georgian students and employees.”

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