Engagement with Extracurricular Activities is Crucial

In the initiating portion of the data, collection questions have helped to identify the demographics and background of the participants. The first question has enquired the participants about their country of origin. This has helped to identify the amount of international students who are having difficulty engaging with their curriculum. The first research question has helped to identify that the majority of the participants which is around 63.64% belong from the country itself rather than the local community. However, among the total number of participants, only 36.36% are international students who belong from different social and cultural backgrounds. This inclusion has contributed to a different point of view among the students and has created difficulty to socialize with each other. Students feel under-confident to approach their fellow classmates and communicate. In some scenarios, diversity can cause conflicts because of differences in opinions in classrooms which deteriorates the educational environment and impacts the learning of the students negatively. The lack of interest in extracurricular activity may be caused because of the diverse environment of the classrooms. The teachers should provide communication training to the students so that they can communicate with each other and develop a positive learning environment within their classrooms. Helping the students to communicate with each other and improve interrelationships can enhance their interest in participating in various activities within the classroom with each other. Teachers just have to develop the tracking structure and module in such a way that national and international students can interact with each other rather than developing small social groups within the class environment. The inclusive classroom would allow the exchange of thoughts and various skill sets possessed by students coming from various countries. This can contribute to the improved performance of the overall class.

The second question asks the students about their gender. As per the obtained responses from the participants it has been understood that the majority of the students are female which around 50% are. However, 45.45% of students are males. The percentage of transgender students is very low as compared to other genders which makes up only 4.55% of the total respondents. Understanding the demographics of the students can help in identifying their thought processes regarding the survey questions that have been developed for executing the data collection process. Challenges faced by students are sometimes caused because of discrimination. Being aware of the genders has helped in executing the survey unbiased. This revelation has provided the researcher an insight to the number of students attending the academic curriculum and having difficulty gaining interest in extracurricular activities. The statistics of transgender students have been rather shocking as it is relatively very low as compared to the other two genders. However, an increasing number of female students in higher study courses have helped to understand that their sole focus is on their academics and activities that can help them to get employed. Workshops that talk about the requirement of student engagement in extracurricular activities alongside academics to get employed can help in enhancing their engagement. This can attract them to the ASTS technology student management software application.

In order to properly know the demographics of the participants, their age groups have to be determined first. Through their responses, it has been identified that around half of the respondents belonged from 21-23 years age group. However, 31.82% of the total respondents belonged from the 24-26 age group. The minimum percentage has been belonging from the youngest age group which is 18-22. It has been identified that even comparatively younger students also have a lack of interest in participating in extracurricular activities which has created the requirement of developing student engagement applications. Randomly chosen participants of the survey have provided a variety of age groups. This has helped to attain insight about the opinions and experiences of the various age groups in terms of their engagements with the advancement and extracurricular activities. The survey has helped to identify whether thru requires student engagement applications or not in order to improve their performance and get employed in a reputed organization.

Students have to overcome various barriers in order to engage with their curriculum. Through this question, 36.36% of respondents have agreed that they have encountered issues while engaging with their class and its curriculum. However, 22.73% have provided a neutral point of view on this issue. International students face these types of issues more as compared to the national students because of language barriers, cultural differences, and differences in approaches and opinions as well. This sometimes causes conflicts within the educational environment as well. Some of the students which are around 18.18% have strongly agreed that their personal experience was full of barriers which they had to overcome in order to enhance their engagement with the class and its curriculum. On the other hand, 9.095 respondents have revealed that they disagree that students have to face difficulties to engage in their educational environment. Supporting these respondents other 13.64% have strongly disagreed that this issue arises. Students who are extroverts and can communicate easily rarely face these issues.

Furthermore, it can also be identified from the survey that a total of 54% of the respondents are of the opinion that extracurricular activities are crucial to enable students to develop and grow in the academic aspect as well. This implies that a majority of the individuals involved in the survey process are aware of the immense importance of extracurricular activities in enhancing capabilities that can enable them to perform better academically. This is in accordance with the findings developed in the section of relevant academic and commercial research, where it has already been established that increased engagement in such events can help in lowering stress levels among students. It can be attributed to this reason and this awareness that a total of 64% of the respondents further believe that the Student Engagement App can be efficient in increasing engagement among students. Through a reduction in stress due to increased pressure of studies, and the compulsion to earn credits and live up to expectations, students can be observed to provide positive responses regarding the way they would respond to the app after its implementation.

It can also be observed that 59% of the respondents are not interested in actively seeking out opportunities through which they can interact with peers and others in social situations. As identified through this study, this can be attributed to the lack of interest among students, intentions to excel academically, or even due to the aspect of introversion, as identified in 41% of the respondents. It can also be alluded to the lack of knowledge among individuals regarding the individual or authorities to contact to take part in such extracurricular events and activities. In this regard, the Student Engagement App can act as an efficient medium for students to access a single platform that can enable them to become aware regarding the various events happening across the campus. This can help students who are actually interested in attending such events to become informed of any such new event and take part in it. In accordance with these findings, it can be ascertained that the app is primarily targeted toward the 46% of the respondents who have responded as being interested in attending events that take place within the campus. By providing such students with a central platform from where they can become aware of new events, access event information, and book a seat, the app can enable them to adequately contribute to such events by attending them.

This further can be used to identify the most crucial requirement or feature as identified by the respondents. As per the survey, it can be identified that wishing for the usage of analytics to recommend events of interest and sending messages to event managers are the two most crucial requirements according to the respondents, with 31% and 23% choosing the two options as the most essential features respectively. Through this, it can be inferred that students who are interested in using the application expect the feature that analyses their preferred category of events and provide them with recommendations regarding similar events, enabling them to attend extracurricular events that can gratify their hobbies and interests. This is in line with the fact that students are aware of the many benefits that would be provided to them once the application is released for use by the target public. For instance, increased interpersonal skills have been chosen as the most beneficial manner in which the app can help in modifying the way interactions occur within the campus, accounting for being chosen as the most beneficial aspect by 45% of the survey population. This implies that there is a positive image regarding the app and students have high expectations regarding the purpose and benefits of the app.

However, it can also be noticed that concerns regarding the various limitations that can hamper user experience regarding the app are also common among the target user population. Specifically, lack of compatibility with different devices and the aspect of an unfamiliar and difficult-to-navigate interface has been identified as the most common concerns, accounting for 36% being concerned regarding the compatibility of devices and 27% being concerned regarding the unfamiliar interface. Similarly, difficulty in navigating through the app and the potential for misleading or outdated information account for 14% of the responses each, implying the need for ASTS to ensure that such aspects are paid specific attention to. It can also be identified that the event managers are required to update event information regularly or in the case crucial information regarding events has changed, updating the individuals interested in attending the event. This can help in ensuring that the app maintains a positive image and reputation regarding its functionality event after it has been implemented, meeting user expectations adequately. This is primarily due to the fact that a majority of the respondents can be identified as irregular users of the application, with just 1 individual promising daily usage while 3 and 4 respondents are under the impression that they would use the application more than twice a week and once a week respectively. In this regard, it can be identified that incorporating functionality is crucial to ensure that the users who have chosen the option of accessing on a frequent basis continue to do so and those who have chosen the lesser frequency of time and regularity in using the app regularly feel compelled to make use of the app. Increased usage reports and by including a feedback section within the app itself, it can help in enhancing the interface, the design as well as the app experience.

Similarly, through the survey, it can be identified that according to the response of the students, the application would not only be beneficial in acting as a tool to increase engagement but also to develop crucial skills and attributes among the students. Specifically, as affirmed by 50% of the students, they would be able to increase their interpersonal skills the most, followed by 23% of the students who chose the aspect of enhanced management skills. As identified in this study, apart from enhancing interactions among regular users, the presence of student event managers can help the app to develop management skills among the students as well. Furthermore, it can also be identified that 54% of the respondents agree that the skills gained through engaging within this app as either regular users or event managers can help to prepare them for the professional world, enabling them to inculcate crucial skills and attributes that can enable them to become better professionals. Although 32% of the respondents disagreed with the fact while 14% stayed neutral, it can be stated that including the various requirements and necessary features as specified by the respondents can help in making the skeptical students become convinced regarding the beneficial aspects of the application, persuading them to use it in the future as well. In this manner, it can be stated that the application can introduce multiple benefits to its users, enabling them to develop crucial habits and skills while enabling them to engage more regularly in extracurricular activities in an organized manner. However, there is an express and urgent need to address the various limitations and concerns raised by the students. By satisfactorily resolving the issues, ASTS can not only ensure that the app is in the optimal condition to perform but that it can gain increasingly more users through the beneficial aspects of the application.

Through this analysis, it can be determined that while students believe that engagement with extracurricular activities is crucial, the lack of platforms and mediums to do so can be a major restricting factor, prohibiting students from engaging actively. In this regard, ASTS can achieve considerable success across different campuses through efficient services provided by the Student Engagement App. However, this can only be achieved when concerns regarding the various limitations are addressed and resolved by ASTS. In doing so, the organization can ensure that it is able to facilitate increased student engagement by providing them with adequate resources and opportunities in the form of information on events through the app. 

07 July 2022
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