Analysis: Reactions to Key Words

Individual analysis performed and written by Marine Coispeau.

Post to the collaborative elaboration of this survey, I more specifically focused on the analysis of questions aiming to specifically capture how students reacted to particular words. We relied on an emoji palette

? ? ? ? ?

and a gas gauge

1-10 where 10 is most attracted to the word

to quantify such reactions.

The results were diverse and exciting.

Word crush scale

# Haters gonna hate, unattractive words ?

Hackathon may be center-staged and an absolute favourite amongst Computer Scientists but unfortunately it did not receive as much love in this survey. This is likely to have been skewed due to the high participation of medics and low participation of computing students. Is its unpopularity due to the “exclusivity” associated to it ie a prestigious etiquette from DocSoc only? Do Medics and Natural Scientists just feel less attached to such a word? Nevertheless, 22 students were 100% attracted to this word. What course backgrounds were these students from? Does this reflect a burning desire to find out more about something which is uncommon in their curriculum?

Number of students against the level of “attractiveness” to the word hackathon

E-learning to my surprise triggered an overall negative response (not attracted at all, extremely unattracted, very unattractive). It is interesting to note that this question was biased with the remote learning experience due to Covid-19, which is likely to have been extremely different between departments.

Does this manifest a Panopto overdose? A burning desire to get back to London for face-to-face interactions? A frustration against the unstable internet connections, noisy neighbors, you name them.

Again, it would be interesting to see whether or not the high participation rate of Medics skewed the results. How was their remote learning experience? How did it differ to the other departments? This is definitely a point which should be shared with Imperial academics especially as term is due to start in hybrid mode for some and fully online for others.

Number of students against the level of “attractiveness” to the word e-learning

# Meh words

Blockchain, ~49.26 % of students evoked a neutral reaction (?) to the word which I expected likely because it is less “en vogue” than the words sustainable and cutting-edge!

# Mild crush, overall trendy and positive words

Pastoral Care was the unexpected word crush.106 students associated this word towards the more positive side with 42 students being 100% attracted. It would be really interesting to dig into this. In what year groups were those that responded positively to it against those that did not? From what departments were students who both responded positively and negatively? Do certain courses enhance more on the “pastoral care” than others? It would be interesting to have a focus group here to unveil its mysteries!

Number of students against the level of “attractiveness” to the word pastoral care

Student-centered again was an unexpected one with an overall positive trend as well. It would be interesting to see how this varies with the year of study. For example in Life Sciences, students are a lot more guided their first year with core lectures. In their second year, they are exposed to most recent papers and left to do far more independent research and  experience more groupwork. Hopefully, in their third year, they would have become independent articulate biotechnologist, biochemists and biologists. Further questions on what students think this word actually means would also be useful ie for them does it mean that the student is at the center? Students are their own driving forces to fuel discussions?

# Attractive words which made students fall in love

Sustainable and cutting-edge intense word CRUSH! Rather quite expectedly students are highly attracted to such words. Working with world-leading and most recent research in a science and technology university seems to work analogously to a magnet. They also want to know that what they are studying has sustainable implications and that they can effectively use what they have been taught to help future generations. Reconciling the scientific demands with the more socio-environmental aspect seems to thus unconsciously trotter in an Imperial’s undergraduate’s mind!

Percentage of students and their level of “attractiveness” to the word sustainable
Percentage of students and their level of “attractiveness” to the word cutting-edge  

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