“Is it worth my time?” An investigation the hooks, barriers and considerations of contemporary students when committing time to extra-curricular activities

Alex Moore, Tom Lowe

Abstract


This paper reflects on the findings of the “Worth My Time” student-staff partnership exploratory project conducted in 2017-18, which looked into the hooks, barriers and considerations students make when considering extra-curricular activities alongside their studies at the University of Winchester. The small study aimed to begin to explore through the use of various small scale research methods and analysis, a series of recommendations of communication practice in regards to students’ motivations at a university/college to become involved in extra-curricular activities alongside their studies. Previous studies have reported the benefits of engaging in extra-curricular activities including the positive impact the social and physical interaction for the students involved (Tymon, 2013) and related benefits to post graduation in the workplace for employability (Dunne, 2017). In addition to these positive impacts, many opportunities offered at the University of Winchester seek to enrich not only the personal development of the student but also the social development, offering transferable skills which are deeply rooted at the core of the student experience in the wider University community (Tchibozo, 2008). Alongside the researched outcomes to student engagement in extra-curricular activities relating to student development, a discourse has emerged stating that students are increasingly strategic with their time and prioritise outcomes-based commitments related to a direct reward or payment (Sims et al, 2017). It is these aspects that the study seeks to explore, investigating what it is that motivates students to engage in these activities and how they could be better marketed to reach a wider audience and attract a larger diversity of participants. This study was conducted by a student-staff partnership by a current third year History BA Hons and a central services manager at a medium UK University at part of an institution-wide students as partners initiative.


Keywords


Student Involvement; Employability; Extra-curricular; Students as Partners; Student Engagement

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21100/jeipc.v5i1.938

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