Our survey project’s main goal was to provide students with a practical chance to apply the fundamental concepts they learned in our public health course to a real-world setting, empowering them. Our focus was on health behaviors and awareness, intending to explore the nuances of how people understand and use public health principles in their everyday lives. The survey was an effective instrument for encouraging critical thinking and real-world application of course topics among students and exploring the complex terrain of health-related behaviors. Our goal in selecting health habits and awareness as our main focus was to close the knowledge gap between theory and practice.
The survey project aimed to foster a deeper understanding of public health dynamics by getting students to actively apply concepts they had learned in class to a topic of shared interest. The initiative sought to turn passive learning into active participation by giving students a meaningful opportunity to explore and apply public health concepts in the context of their local communities. We wanted to give students a feeling of agency and ownership over their participation in public health activities in addition to collecting essential data on health habits through this survey. Our goal was to provide students with the critical thinking abilities and mentality needed to actively contribute to improving community well-being. This survey project was conceived as a catalyst for applied learning, encouraging students to become active participants in shaping and enhancing public health awareness and practices.
Development of the Survey:
Our team consciously tried to apply crucial public health concepts to actual situations during the survey creation process. We focused our investigation on health behaviors, such as exercise, diet, mental health, and preventative care. After a thorough debate, we determined the fundamental ideas that would allow us to comprehend these health-related elements in our selected setting on a practical level, leading to questions that students would deliberately construct to probe deeper than cursory answers. Our objectives were to gather complex behavioral insights from participants, gauge their understanding, and pinpoint possible areas for development. To guarantee that the survey instrument would accurately reflect the intricacies of health habits, we crafted the questions to be clear, focused, and detailed (Vlachopoulos et al., 2023). This strategy created the conditions for a survey aligned with significant public health concepts and gave respondents a relevant forum to express their opinions. The survey development phase was defined by carefully analyzing the most effective ways to apply theoretical concepts to practical situations. The development of a survey instrument that would produce insightful and valuable information on the public health dynamics under study was made possible by emphasizing health behaviors and creating thought-provoking questions.
Testing the Pilot:
One crucial and critical phase in the survey creation process was running a pilot test before launching the full-scale survey. A small sample of the student body was given the study during this initial phase to find and fix any questionnaire flaws. The pilot test accomplished numerous essential goals. First, it allowed us to evaluate how well the instructions were written and how straightforward the survey questions were. It was crucial to reduce the possibility of misunderstandings or confusion in the more extensive poll by guaranteeing that participants would understand and answer the questions as intended. Second, the survey instrument’s possible ambiguities or opportunities for improvement were found thanks to the pilot test. The pilot participants’ feedback gave important insights into areas of the questionnaire that could need more clarification or modification (Sternberg et al., 2021). We were able to modify the survey instrument through this iterative approach, resulting in a final version that was precise, logical, and able to gather the needed data. Furthermore, the input received throughout the pilot stage significantly improved the survey’s validity and reliability. By tackling such problems at the outset, we might raise the chance that it would produce accurate and insightful results when the survey was given to a broader group of students.
Delivery of the Survey:
We used a mixed-methods strategy, disseminating online and physical copies, to guarantee a representative and varied sample. Broad accessibility was made possible by utilizing social media, on-campus distribution stations, and university communication channels. The promise of anonymity and the voluntary nature of participation were intended to encourage truthful answers. The three-week survey duration made comprehensive data collection possible, which guaranteed a sizable and diverse dataset for insightful analysis.
After gathering the data, our crew worked together to analyze the information. In this case, quantitative data were carefully analyzed using statistical software to provide descriptive statistics that gave a numerical picture of the trends in the survey replies. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data was conducted concurrently, exposing recurrent themes and patterns in the open-ended answers.
Demographics: The wide range of academic fields, age groupings, and backgrounds represented in the 700 students who actively participated provided a solid basis for the generalizability of our results. Our study’s external validity is strengthened by this varied representation, enabling us to make insightful inferences applicable to a larger group of students. Because of the diverse demographic makeup, our findings reflect various viewpoints, increasing their applicability and relevance to the larger student body.
Nutrition: Students’ understanding of the significance of keeping a balanced diet was found to be respectable, according to the examination of their nutritional practices. A significant portion of participants did, however, voice difficulties with time restrictions and restricted availability of reasonably priced, healthful meal alternatives. These results indicate areas for focused treatments meant to enhance eating practices. It may be possible to investigate strategies that deal with accessibility and price in order to encourage students to eat better.
Physical exercise: Students’ responses revealed differing degrees of participation in physical exercise. Although most agreed that regular exercise had many advantages, considerable obstacles, including heavy workloads from school and a dearth of accessible leisure areas, were noted. These results highlight the critical need for targeted programs that deal with these challenges and encourage students to lead more physically active lives (Branquinho et al., 2020). In order to increase physical activity levels, measures like fitness centers on campus or lobbying for accessible leisure areas might be considered.
Mental Health: According to the poll, students are becoming more conscious of the importance of their mental health. Nonetheless, difficulties with the stigma associated with mental health problems and a lack of awareness of the options for mental health that are accessible were noted. These findings support the introduction of focused awareness programs to de-stigmatize conversations about mental health on campus. Furthermore, improving mental health support services and making them more widely known may help create a more encouraging atmosphere on campus.
Preventive Measures: Results indicated that many participants reported infrequently engaging in preventive health behaviors. It is a chance for focused campaigns to encourage students to participate in their health actively. Educational initiatives should raise public knowledge of preventative measures and emphasize their critical role in preserving general well-being. Workshops, educational campaigns, and campus-wide events emphasizing the value of preventative health habits are a few such initiatives.
In conclusion, this student-led survey gave us essential information on our student body’s health-related habits and knowledge levels. The results highlight the need for focused interventions to address particular issues with diet, physical activity, mental health, and preventative measures. These treatments might include educational campaigns and campus-wide activities. Additionally, the project illustrated how crucial public health concepts we had studied during the course may be used in real-world settings. This survey experiment demonstrated the possible influence of student-led efforts and expanded our awareness of public health concerns within the student body. In order to promote a healthier campus atmosphere going ahead, we advise developing student-led campaigns and incorporating survey results into university health promotion initiatives. This initiative shows how important it is to involve students in solving public health issues and applying what they have learned in the classroom to practical situations.
Branquinho, C., Kelly, C., Arevalo, L. C., Santos, A., & Gaspar de Matos, M. (2020). “Hey, we also have something to say”: A qualitative study of Portuguese adolescents and young people’s experiences under COVID‐19. Journal of Community Psychology, 48(8), 2740-2752. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jcop.22453
Sternberg, H. S., Hofmann, E., & Roeck, D. (2021). The struggle is real: Insights from a supply chain blockchain case. Journal of Business Logistics, 42(1), 71-87. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jbl.12240
Vlachopoulos, D., Thorkelsdóttir, R. B., Schina, D., & Jónsdóttir, J. G. (2023). Teachers’ Experience and Perceptions of Sustainable Digitalization in School Education: An Existential Phenomenological Study of Teachers in Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Iceland, and The Netherlands. Sustainability, 15(18), 13353. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/15/18/13353