Priorities:Khalifa University of Science and Technology Student Priorities

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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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