One of the tasks I have at Ming Chuan University is to supervise senior research projects. It’s a year-long process, involving the design and execution of a basic research project. Some projects are done by one person, but in general, the projects are done in groups of two and three. In the final semester of their senior year, there are two major milestones. The final one is turning in two copies of the their final written copy, which is due on May 26. But this past week, the first major milestone was presenting their work at their oral defense.
I supervised four groups this year, and I thought I would share their accomplishments (and relief) at completing their oral defense last Thursday.
First up: Jean and Allison have been studying the factors that influence students’ career choices. Among the factors they considered were salary, personal interest, personality, parental influence, and social trends. They are still finalizing their findings, but there appears to be some gender difference in which factors students consider more important. One thing is certain. These young women were incredibly relieved to have this part of the process complete.
Next: Julia and Colton were interested in finding out if students from our university who participated in the summer study tours held in the US during 2012 and 2013 were satisfied with the improvements in their English proficiency during the four-week intensive program. While their data collection did not go as smoothly as we might have hoped, they learned a lot about research and were able to put together a nice case study of those who were willing to share their experiences.
When it came to filling out questionnaires to help their fellow students, Teela and Helen’s project about the effects of social media advertising on college students was the most well-received. They found that while almost everyone finds advertising on social media annoying, it can be effective, particularly when it comes from the recommendations of friends. People are likely to try restaurants and cafes based on the recommendations of friends.
Finally, four students–Alaina, Ivy, Melissa, and Gary–surveyed seniors and underclassmen to see if there were differences between the two groups in the types of reading strategies they used. Not surprisingly, the students who like English make the most effective use of strategies regardless of their class standing.
Now the next step for all four groups is to complete their data analysis and revise their written projects so that they can be submitted by the deadline. But everyone is on track, and graduation is only a few weeks beyond the turn-in date.
Congratulations to the students listed above, and all the seniors at MCU who completed their oral defense last week!