Priorities:Khalifa University of Science and Technology Student Priorities

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Students Priorities of Fall 2022

We generated creative and innovative ideas by collaborating together as a team aiming to improve both student life and educational quality here at Khalifa University. We sought opinions from a wide variety of students and faculty on what they thought needed improvement, while also using the Landscape Canvas of our university we produced using the Mural board to fill in the gaps. To do so, we researched and conducted surveys, and we have come to the following conclusions:

1. Students need more information to select their majors, as well as reducing the gap between academics and work-field.

2. The classes between the Main and the San campus, with only 10-15 minutes between the two classes. This problem is affecting students learning process.

3. Students need more areas were they can study, take a break, and spend productive time in the university

Project No. 1:

In this project, we (Aishah and Mohammed) worked closely with students to understand what could be the potential problems they are facing. After researching different problems we both decided to work on how to help students make informed decision when selecting majors, and also help students by equipping them with the necessary information to reduce the gap between the academics and the work field.

In the initial phase of the project a brainstorm session was conducted to come up with different possible ways to prototype our ideas. We also sought help from professors with the prototypes. Next, we moved on to test our project prototype by carrying out a digital survey and sending it out to a variety of students. We took action accordingly after analysing the data we received from our survey.

Our solution to this problem is to provide a major course, which will also incorporate shadowing as well as workshops done by professionals. To implement it, we will use the help of the career development department and help of professors of those who teach prep students or students who haven't yet selected a major

Project No. 2:

Meira highlighted a problem majority of students are facing at Khalifa university. The main problem lies in having two different classes on the Main and the San campus, with only 10-15 minutes between the two classes. Thus, Meira conducted more research on this problem to identify the main points she needed to consider when presenting a possible solution.

Consequently, to take action, Meira decided to conduct a survey which is an effective method to collect data by asking individuals questions based on the problem assigned.

The solution is to provide the same courses on the Main and the San campus based on the number of students and their majors. Thus, it is necessary to collaborate with the registration office and the faculty.

Project No. 3:

As a San campus student, Hedaya wishes to have an environment that could increase her productivity during her time at the university. The main issue that is in the way of having this environment for the students is actually the lack of student areas on campus. Therefore, it was propriety for Hedaya to choose this problem.

The first step was to explore the whole campus in-depth and search for the different provided areas for the students. Then, She conducted a face-to-face survey for students on the campus to get more ideas about the problem situation and students' thoughts and feedback. The result confirmed that the issue is affecting the student's time at the university and it needs to be solved as soon as possible.

The solution that she found is that it is necessary to add more student areas around the campus, especially in the most crowded buildings. Also, Some provided areas need more organization so students could benefit from them fairly.

Students Priorities of Fall 2021

By gathering and brainstorming, we were able to generate unique and new ideas to enhance the communication, sense of entrepreneurship, and quality of education among students at Khalifa University. It was important for us to take opinions of random students among campus regardless of their nationality, age, academic level or academic standing. We have also taken into consideration the faculty and staffs’ opinions on what should be improved and how can we achieve that, rather than just brainstorming that among our group. After all the research and surveys, we have come into a conclusion on what should we enhance for a better student life as listed below:

  1. Students, regardless of their academic year whether freshmen or senior, are not sure that they picked the right major and don’t really know are they passionate about.
  2. There is a lack of communication among students with their peers, professors, and staff.
  3. Students are not getting enough support for their personal business and their talents get lost with their focus on academic life.

Project No. 1: Enhancing Official Social Media Accounts

We as a team wanted to think about a solution for the problem of picking a major that both the student and the university faces . For the students , picking a major is so important as it determines their path for the future , and the hours they are going to spend studying something that they wish it is going to allign with their passions and their interests . The problem for us students , is that we dont have a clear way to know about all the majors … and alot of us just pick majors depending on what we have heared about or seen in movies or other platforms . Which we students tend to realize then that this method of randomized major picking is really unhealthy and bad as the major may not allign with what we want to be in the future , or what we want to do in the present . As for the university , as we have heared from the stockholder meeting , it also affects the university by costing them more money for every student who changes their major , and that money could really be used to develop the university even more if we could solve the majors issue.

Hence, we came up a solution of making social media a portal to all majors in our university, as the university can give one faculty of each major the responsibility to pick a couple of students from their majors to help in using the social accounts that are going to be offical and supervised by the university. The accounts would have more information and events and activities that would make students more enhanced and knowledgeable about the environment, teachers and show what is being taught in that major.

We belive that the majority of students use social media these days, and that this idea would really connect the students with the majors in a cool and fun way.

Project No. 2: The HUB

In this project, we decided to enhance our current student hub that facilitates the both students and staff to easily communicate and de-stress by playing mini games. This project aims to ensure that students can easily communicate with any member of Khalifa University, yet also have fun. As our students hub is the first place to view when entering campus, we made sure to innovate it to suit our culture yet fill it with life and students’ energy while seeing them chatting and have fun.

Any institution needs a space for students to unwind and de-stress, a place where they may spend their leisure time without disturbing others. A campus game room is the obvious solution to the problem of stressed-out students. We strongly believe that spreading joy among KU members will increase the sense of belonged to this place as; laughter is one of the most effective stress relievers because it produces endorphins in the brain and promotes the formation of white blood cells. Endorphins boost feelings of trust, empathy, and compassion.

By moving forward with implementing this project, we made sure to reduce costs as much as possible. For the games part, we decided to take the table tennis and billiard from the male students hub and to the main hub. For renovating furnitures, we focused on rearranging and using what’s available already and just add some missing parts. Finally, for some revenue to cover up the costs, we have decided to open a small kiosk where students with cafe business can be supported by showcasing it in the hub and pay rent yearly with a minimum amount.

Project No. 3: Encouraging the sense of entrepreneurship in students; The BAZAAR

The bazaar project focuses on showcasing the small business of KU students. Our research found that 20% of students in KU have started their own businesses, and 99% are interested in business related programs. This project aims to encourage the students to start their own small businesses and support the current ones. Bazaars have been tested before in KU but never to a big extent. So we decided to make it monthly event that is focused on exclusively. Also hosting them in different locations will help in letting the students explore the university hallways and rooms more, and get to have fun while looking for the bazaar next location.

Students Priorities of Fall 2020

The main goal of brainstorming and prototyping is to build a better environment for our university students to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship of the university ecosystem. Therefore, we are required to identify the major issues that students face at Khalifa University. After, generating the major problems that students face in many different aspects in the end we combined all of the wild problems and we came up with conclusions of four major problems that students face in our university in the year 2020 that are: -

  1. The majority of freshman students are shy to speak and get socialize and work with other people.
  2. The difficulty of communication between freshmen students and instructors during the pandemic period.
  3. The major challenge affecting university students is the use of digital resources as maker spaces for their development. The coronavirus has made it hard to use the facilities to optimize and implement their ideas and projects.
  4. The difficulty of students attending virtual labs during a pandemic.

Project No. 1: Interpersonal Skills and Self-Development Training Program

The first project is the Interpersonal Skills and Self-Development Training Program. This program could be an online workshop that will be given to undergraduate students in every semester of the freshman level. The interpersonal skills and Self-Development Training Program is critical especially to a freshman student who recently joined the university. The main objective of the program is the more developed student social skills the more chances to satisfactorily deal with the demands of different environments and interlocutors. That being the case the university should include interpersonal development as part of its academic goals. The course is required to be led by people who are knowledgeable in this field. For example, students success department as well as the center of teaching and learning which we believe that they can support and offer guidance to this project for the benefit of their students.

Project No. 2: "Help" Application

In this project, we decided to create a way that facilitates the student to access any category or department that he/she is looking for and get their contact information easily. So, the second project aims to ensure that students can easily reach any member of Khalifa University. Whether they need help from student services or instructors or even if they would like to contact older students to share their experiences. Besides, it appears for the student if that member is available or not. This idea is going to be built as an App that only accessible to KU members. Which makes it easier for the students and instructors to reach and secure at the same time. To begin with this project, the idea should be presented to the Center for Teaching and Learning and see how it can be done, and check if there are any complications. As well as, getting the contact information from all university members and take their permission to added in the list. Then, the project requires support from the IT department to make it accessible for the students and the instructors on the campus.

Project No. 3: Digital Maker Space

The major challenge affecting university students is the use of digital resources as maker spaces for their development. The Global Pandemic has made it hard to use the facilities to optimize and implement their ideas and projects. This problem has led to consider other opportunities to enhance remote utilizations of the program. So, what we are trying to do is making students’ projects on digital forms instead of tangible by Having applications which will be provided by the instructors to the students which will have everything that is provided in the maker space areas but in the online form by which students can have their digital projects, as they can convert it to a 3D module.

Project No. 4: Online Labs Training

Virtual labs are a new innovative approach to learning especially in this pandemic time. Some students may find the shifting from traditional to virtual labs is a kind of challenge. The idea of this project is to provide general technology skills training to students who have virtual labs that require software installation. This training will have all the information that university students need in order to know how to deal with such labs as well as it will allow the students to have a better understanding for how to download the software, how to use it, and how to be well-prepared for their tasks during online labs.

Students Priorities of Fall 2018

The chief goal behind our brainstorming and prototyping is to build a better environment for university students. Whether first years or seniors, we sought to identify what major issues students at Khalifa University were facing. We opened up new tabs of blank sheets in our heads and filled them out with plenty of ideas, some of which seemed too simple and others way to complex. At the end of it all we combined what wild ideas we had and came up with conclusions to four problems:

  1. Lack of student focus during labs
  2. Lack of self expectations among students
  3. Lack of social interaction between students
  4. The difficulty of transitioning from a high school atmosphere to university atmosphere

In order to implement a solution to each of our ideas, we spread out across campus discussing how our ideas can be restructured to best-fit students’ needs.

Ruba and Buthaina, held two projects in hand: the LabAID idea as well as Workshops  on emotional intelligence which starts by helping students build self-confidence and higher their self-expectations as well as focusing on achieving a specific goal despite daily distractions. LabAID is a resource design around laboratories. It helps better understand what the lab session talks about and includes a demonstration of the experiment. Also, it has questions about the sessions to help see if students are aware of what the lab presents as well as worksheets for students to record their data.This builds a strong foundation to a future of innovators and entrepreneurs who have the curiosity to experiment , leanr new things and apply what they learn.

Maryam was at first in charge of facilitating students' engagement through communication systems. The goal seemed to be at first to categorize emails based on what their subject is so that students wouldn’t have to regard emails that are non-academic as junk mail. Afterrwards, the idea developed to beome a KU application instead which aims to help students distinguish what events are going around campus. It also allows them to be more interactive with their interests.

Hajer juggled the biggest of projects; the Freshman Year Experience program, or what we would like to call "Freshmen Success Program". The project is designed to facilitate the transition from a high school atmosphere to university atmosphere where responsibilities pile up for incoming students. This ease happens through  helping students interact with one another socially, from talking about academics or just saying friendly “Hello”. The program also benefits freshmen by introducing them to the campus through sending notifications about news around campus or upcoming events and workshops to get acquainted.

Moreover, the talks we had with around campus played a vital in our process since it was through those conversations that we knew how to improve our ideas and how well they would be accepted after implementations. And to aid in implementations we looked at various resources around campus which included the IT department for technological aid such as designing apps and creating webpages, the Health and Social Sciences department to further develop the Leadership with Emotional Intelligence course, and the Freshman Year Experience team at Khalifa University to pitch out idea and encourage its completion.

Below we list the key tactics required to bring this project to life:

Project number 1: LabAID.

The first step to be done for this project is to present it to the lab instructors and professors and see how it can be modified .As well as, investigating on how it can suit the different types of labs available. Then, this project requires support from the IT department to get this website available or instead, we can contact the people responsible for developing the Moodle page.

The person who would be in charge of the project will need help from the student success department, as well as the center of teaching and learning which Dr. Mark is in charge of. Both , we believe, can provide support and guidance to this project.

Project number 2: Workshops on emotional intelligence.

Inroducing workshops that are held over three days every semester, these workshop can even be led by trained students. The main goal behind the workshops is to encourage students to utilize the most fundamental aspect of EI, which is introspection and post activity reflection. In other words, starting within the individual to then branch out and describe how he/she is willing to interact with others and be a representative of their society  The wokshops require to be lead by people who are knolwedgable in this field, for instance Dr. Glenda and student leaders who will be trained by her to lead such workshops in the future and also make it more student friendly in a way to use necessary EI skills to address the needs of the students.

Having student leaders to the workshop is highly importnant because students are the only ones who understand the needs of the students in such complicated socail instutution as a university. 

Dr. Glenda has recently introduced a leadership with emotional inteligence six weeks course, and that's from where student leadership groups to the workshops can be formed. 

The help of the student services department will also requires in organizing such workshops.

Project number 3: Facilitating Students' engagement through communication systems.

This project needs the support of the IT department who can even provide us with more suggestions on how it can be optimized and improved. Thinking more about it, we realized also that we will need an artistic opinion in from people who are passionate in art and colors which is why seeking the opinion of the students from the art club seems like a great approach.

Project number 4:FYE

Since this project is focusing more on the freshmen students, the support of the STEM program (prep program) faculty will be much needed. These people from organizers, to teachers know are the closest people to the new students and are aware of how significantly the FYE program would contribute to the new students university experience.

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