Research Update: First-in-Family Finish Last?

‘Do first-in-family university students feel less optimistic about their capabilities?’

In the previous post, I introduced my proposal for a research task which explores the academic confidence of First-in-Family (FiF) university students. As a FiF student myself, I have often questioned whether my lack of a family role model has led me to become more self-critical than my non-FiF counterparts. From my research, I hope to gain further insight into the unique needs of FiF students, so that I can suggest methods of improving their transition into higher education.

Over the past month, I have made refinements to the project and research method, at the advice of more experienced researchers and previous studies of a similar nature. Most importantly, I have expanded my research method to include both a survey and a series of interviews; this will help me to gather more profound qualitative information. Where I previously sought only basic survey responses, I now plan to privately interview a minimum of four First-in-Family students. Comfortable face-to-face interactions promote openness, and by using this method I hope to gain greater insight into how students view their academic performance, and how family experience- or lack thereof- has shaped their outlook.

I am nearing the end of the main planning stage, having addressed time and risk management concerns, in addition to strengthening the research method. In the next week, I intend to distribute and promote the survey, and will do so through both this blog and social media channels. My target audience is of course university students, and in the survey stage I am seeking both FiF and non-FiF responders. This will help me to determine any contrasting attitudes between the groups and, as a result, will inform the interview questions. I will be updating this site periodically, so those interested can follow the progress of the report, and are welcome to participate in the survey, which can now be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N3K2Z6V

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