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Improving the Awareness of UBC Recreation Sumar, Sabrina; Yap, David; Gill, Davin; Buttar, Harmanat 2018-04-03

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program Student Research Report Improving the Awareness of UBC RecreationSabrina Sumar, David Yap, Davin Gill, Harmanat Buttar  University of British Columbia KIN 464 Themes: Community, Wellbeing April 3, 2018 Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student research project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore, readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Sustainability Program representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              1 Executive Summary The title of this project is, “Improving the Awareness of UBC Recreation”. The purpose of the assignment was to develop several new methods for a specific campus group that may be most effective in improving UBC Recreation awareness. Research on current literature was completed to gain background knowledge on the chosen population; first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. This population was chosen because studies have shown that their group would benefit tremendously from being more aware about recreational opportunities on campus.  The associated health benefits of physical activity for this population and the importance of creating awareness surrounding recreational opportunities for engaging in physical activity were also looked into. The literature review explained how engineering students have been found to experience significantly greater academic workloads in comparison to students from other programs. Their busy schedule is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. Multiple studies show that mental health can be improved by the participation in physical activity, ultimately allowing them to better cope with their stress. Furthermore, effective strategies for promoting recreational programs in universities/colleges were discussed. Interview questions were then developed with the focus being on increasing awareness of UBC Recreation. With these questions, semi-structured interviews were conducted and the population’s current awareness of UBC Recreation opportunities was discovered. Based on the recurring themes from the interviews, three recommendations on how to increase awareness for UBC Recreation were devised: “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs”, “Regular Email Updates” and “Guest UBC REC Speakers”.  After this information was analyzed, a survey was developed consisting of a ranking system, in which the 3 strategies were judged based on how well each could potentially improve an individual's awareness of UBC Recreation . This survey was distributed across 50 first year female engineering students that were found on the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” Facebook group and contacted via Facebook Messenger. These students ranked the developed methods from most to least effective. After this was completed, the data was then analyzed and led to several implications. First, the most effective method for improving the awareness of UBC Recreation for first year female engineering students is through having specific social media pages for each UBC Recreation program. The second highest ranked method was through receiving email updates about UBC Recreation opportunities. The method that was perceived to be least effective was UBC Recreation representatives coming to classes to speak about their programs and the health benefits associated with increased campus recreation focus.  With these findings UBC Recreation now has the opportunity to implement the recommended strategies. The awareness of recreation programs on campus may then be increased and these students may be more likely to participate as well. This can inadvertently improve mental health, and develop lifelong healthy behaviours which previous authors have found to be associated with increased campus recreation focus. The findings of this study provide insight on further research that can be done on which programs are most effective for different populations. UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              2 Introduction Based on the current literature, there are numerous benefits associated with involvement in campus recreation programs such as: smoother high school to university transition, increased performance in academia, increased mental and physical health, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and an increased campus community and social interaction (Aspinall, Mavros, Coyne, & Roe, 2013; Andre, Williams, Schwartz & Bullard, 2017; Clark & Anderson, 2011). Limitations in campus recreation programs are seen when the campus community is not aware of the current recreation programs that are being offered (Clark & Anderson, 2011). To address this gap, student interviews were utilized to discover the best methods for increasing awareness of UBC recreation programs that are offered. This project explored how to increase awareness of campus recreation programs for first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. This was done by analyzing the data collected from this project to develop several recommendations of promoting awareness of UBC Recreation programs and classes offered to the campus. The contribution of this work will offer information on how to improve awareness for UBC Recreation programming, with the residual effect of improving the health and well-being of students at UBC overall. Literature Review  Awareness of campus recreation opportunities is the fundamental concern this project aims to address, as awareness and participation rates of campus recreation are positively correlated (Clark & Anderson, 2011). This project was guided by the works of Bayne and Cianfrone (2013), which emphasized the use of marketing when raising awareness for campus recreation events. The study found participants to have high usage rates of Facebook, which led them to conclude that keeping an up to date Facebook page is beneficial for increasing recreation participation (Bayne & Cianfrone, 2013). Bayne and Cianfrone (2013) also suggested that recreation staff could use social media to see if students would potentially attend a recreation event by creating polls. This is beneficial in determining whether or not to take the time and resources towards the development of a recreational event before it has begun, while improving awareness of recreational opportunities altogether (Bayne & Cianfrone, 2013).  In addition, based on the high course workload of engineering programs, first year students tend to have increased levels of stress and anxiety when transitioning from high school to university (Maharaj, Blair, & Chin Yuen Kee, 2018).  Numerous studies show physical activity improves mental health, including dealing with stress, which is why creating awareness for campus recreation to this population would have a great impact (Theodoratou et al., 2016). Moreover, a thesis conducted by Gibson (2013), found that not only did increased focus on campus recreation improve student retention rates, but  it “was [also] used as a tool to help create long-term healthy behaviors” (p. 8). The thesis conducted by Gibson (2013) guided the purpose of this project by providing the opportunity for future research regarding long term benefits of campus recreation awareness.  Furthermore, a quantitative study with a sample of 301 undergraduate students found the greatest benefits of campus recreation programs to be reported from first year college students and all year female students (Sturts, & Ross, 2017). Sturts and Ross (2017) found that these UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              3 benefits include increased learning, development, and personal relationship building. Limitations for both studies would be the use of convenience samples. More research should be done identifying gaps such as preferred recreation programs, most effective advertising methods, and the rate at which academic success can be improved with campus recreation engagement (Hardy, Carson, Hellman, & Garrett, 2011). Based on the current literature, it would be beneficial to determine the most effective and efficient strategies for promoting campus recreation for first year female engineering students as there are numerous benefits for all university students at a physical, mental, and social level (Aspinal et al., 2013; Andre et al., 2017; Clark & Anderson, 2011; Sturts & Ross, 2017). Methods Population The population that we have chosen are first year female students that are enrolled in the engineering program at UBC and are within an age range of 17 to 21. By choosing first year students, it is assumed that they are less aware of UBC Recreation opportunities as they are relatively new members on campus compared to their upper year peers. The specification for only engineering students to be included in the study was due to the fact that engineering students face a relatively large workload in comparison to other academic disciplines (Dee, 2007). As mentioned previously in the literature review, the transition to a heavier course load compared to high school often overwhelms first year students and leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety (Maharaj et al., 2018). Therefore, due to the busier schedule for engineering students, their time management towards recreational activities may be affected. Engineering students were also chosen because Mikkonen and Raphael (2010) state that education is a social determinant of health, and by choosing individuals in the same program, they are likely to have similar perceptions surrounding physical activity. These are valid reasons to be less aware of UBC Recreation opportunities and why a population of first year engineering students have been chosen.  In addition, the justification for the population being 17 to 21 year old females is that gender and age are also social determinants of health (Mikkonen & Raphael, 2010). Buckworth and Nigg (2004) found that the age of females was negatively correlated with engagement in physical activity, while the age of males was positively correlated with physical activity. Therefore, having restrictions on age and gender for the study ensured that the differences in their patterns of engagement in physical activity were minimized. Because of this difference in physical activity across age and gender, it was assumed that the chosen population would have similar awareness of UBC Recreation programs in comparison to groups with all ages and genders. Furthermore, when Buckworth and Nigg (2014) analyzed the effect of gender on physical activity, they found that in general, men were more physically active than women. This suggests that males are more likely to be aware of physical activity opportunities in the form of UBC Recreation compared to females. This is why the population chosen included the restrictions on age and gender. The study’s population is shown to be one that benefits tremendously from physical activity as it is well established in literature that physical activity improves mental health, UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              4 allowing them to effectively cope with the heavy course load as an engineering student (Theodoratou et al. 2016). Also, Levandoski, Pilatti and Zannin (2016) showed that regular physical activity aids in reducing risk factors and enhancing the quality of life especially among engineering students. For this reason, the female engineering student population would greatly benefit from increased awareness of campus recreation, as it would help manage stress and anxiety while indirectly boosting numerous other health functions (Theodoratou et al. 2016).    Procedure In regards to the data collection process, Doody and Noonan (2013) showed that semi-structured interviews are the most frequently used type of interview when conducting qualitative studies. These kinds of interviews have a set of predetermined and open-ended questions, that allow for free talk and exploration between the interviewer and interviewee (Doody & Noonan, 2013). This leads the interview into becoming more of a conversation due to its flexible nature. New perspectives can also be discovered and discussed rather than having restrictions on what can be said like in structured interviews. During semi-structured interviews, the order and wording of questions may be altered and additional relevant topics can be added in order to gain more in-depth knowledge about the participants experience with the overarching topic (Doody & Noonan, 2013). This method was the best fit for this project because when asking semi-structured questions to the interviewees, it helped guide the conversation and reach a better understanding of their thoughts about UBC Recreation awareness.  The methods in how to carry out these semi-structured interviews effectively are also shown by Galetta and Cross (2013). They suggest that the use of the researcher as an instrument is essential to the interview process. This means that the interviewer must be able to pick up on any subtle hints that the participants give off during the conversation (Galetta & Cross, 2013). They also need to be able to prompt the participant by using additional questions, rephrasing words, and making appropriate changes according to the nature of the conversation (Galetta & Cross, 2013). By doing this, more detailed information can be retrieved and the interviewer can gain a deeper understanding of what the point the participant is trying to get across (Galetta & Cross, 2013).  Based on the research done by Doody and Noonan (2013), and Galetta and Cross (2013), it was decided that the data collection for this project would consist of semi-structured qualitative interviews. Interviews were then conducted with eight first year female engineering UBC students using several open-ended questions about UBC recreational programs and different forms of communication methods (refer to Appendix A). These interviews were 15 to 20 minutes long and the responses helped give information on how aware students were about UBC recreational programs and what communication channels were administered into gaining this knowledge. Furthermore, recommendations from students were taken in on how to improve the awareness of UBC Recreation programs. The interviews for this project were conducted on campus throughout the school week. Recruiting potential participants for the interviews was done by visiting buildings which hold first year engineering classes and letting people know about the study. To entice participants, candy bars were given to those who were willing to be an interviewee. Recruitment was also UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              5 done by messaging first year female students in the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” Facebook group on Facebook Messenger and asking them if they would like to participate. All interviewees received an informed consent form where they agreed to have their interview sessions recorded (refer to Appendix O-R). Participants were ensured of their privacy and confidentiality in that their identity will remain anonymous. The entire data collection process was conducted in an ethical manner as all interviewers have TCPS 2 certificates (refer to Appendix A).   With the knowledge gained from the interview process, three methods of how to increase  UBC Recreation awareness were devised. A ranking survey was then created in which participants ranked the three methods from most to least effective. This quick survey was given out to 50 first year female engineering students at UBC. These students were again found using the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” group on Facebook. They were messaged through Facebook Messenger and asked to rank the three methods in order from most to least effective. It was also mentioned to these students that by ranking the methods, they are voluntarily giving informed consent for their ranking to be used as part of our data collection process. After the survey data was collected, each method was assigned a point from one to three based on its ranking by the participants. The method that was ranked most effective was given three points, the second most effective method was given two points and so on and so forth for each of the 50 distributed ranking surveys. By graphing this data, it gave a clear visual representation on which methods for increasing awareness was resonated most with first year female engineering students at UBC.  Findings We conducted 8 semi-structured interviews with first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. From those interviews, common themes emerged in regards to the most effective awareness strategies in promoting UBC Recreation. The first common theme among the interviews came when asking which social media outlet was used most; the most popular answer was Facebook or Instagram. One interviewee had this to say, “No, I don’t check the social media pages for UBC Rec, however I have seen it pop up on my feeds before. Or, some people that are apart of programs within UBC Rec have tagged their social media page”, (Anonymous, personal communication, March 5, 2018; refer to Appendix E). This led us to believe that the use of social media for promoting UBC Recreation resonates more with this specific campus population. Another common theme that consistently showed from the interviews was the method in which people preferred to be updated on future campus recreation opportunities. One interviewee stated, “I have it set so my UBC emails come to my personal email, and a lot of my friends have it the same way so they do not miss important information. If UBC Recreation sent emails to me about future recreation program opportunities, I would definitely feel more aware and there is a better chance I would participate”, (Anonymous, personal communication, March 5, 2018, refer to Appendix D). Few of the interviewees also suggested making short announcements before each lecture had begun. One interviewee went on to say,  UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              6 “In class, it seems like we are always educated on abroad programs, or science opportunities, but I think UBC Rec should be addressed more in class as well to enhance the involvement of students. So, hearing more about it through a quick minute before class starts would be nice”, (Anonymous, personal communication, March 6, 2018; refer to Appendix M).  Lastly, another noteworthy theme that emerged from the interviews was having multiple platforms to broadcast the different programs offered by UBC Recreation. One interviewee went on to say,  “I check different social media platforms for different news. I follow ESPN for my sports news, I follow New York Times for news on politics and pop culture, so UBC Recreation would benefit if they had pages that promoted basketball only, or soccer only, etc. The more narrow the better” (Anonymous, personal communication, March 7, 2018; refer to Appendix M). Based on the recurring themes from the interviews, we surveyed 50 first year female UBC engineering students with a ranking survey. The three awareness strategies that were ranked included: having specific social media outlets for different UBC Recreation programs, giving email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interest students and finally, having UBC Recreation staff/volunteers talk in front of the class before a lecture. With these strategies, three titles were given respectively: 1. Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs2. Regular Email Updates3. Guest UBC REC SpeakersFor this ranking survey, the most effective perceived awareness strategy received three points, the second most effective received two points, and the least effective received one point (refer to Figure 1). Of the 50 participants, 24 of them chose “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs” as their top strategy, 20 chose it as their second best ranked strategy and 6 people chose it as their least effective strategy. 15 participants had “Regular Email Updates” as their top strategy, 16 had it as their second ranked strategy and 19 had it as their least effective strategy. 11 participants chose “Guest UBC REC Speakers” as their top ranked strategy, 14 chose it as their second ranked strategy and 25 chose it as their least effective strategy.  After totaling the points, the most effective perceived strategy to promote awareness of UBC Recreation programs was “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs” with 118 points. The second most effective perceived strategy to promote awareness of UBC Recreation programs was “Regular Email Updates”, which had 96 points. Lastly, the least effective perceived strategy to promote awareness of UBC Recreation programs was the “Guest UBC REC Speakers” method, which had 86 points. Therefore,  in order from most to least effective methods, the strategies were: “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              7 Programs”, “Regular Email Updates”, “Guest UBC REC Speakers”, respectively (refer to Figure 2). Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs: Having specific social media outlets for different UBC Recreation programs Regular Email Updates: Giving email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interest students Guest UBC REC Speakers: Having UBC Recreation staff/volunteers talk in front of the class before a lecture Most Effective (3 points) 72 points 45 points 33 points Second Most Effective (2 points) 40 points 32 points 28 points Least Effective (1 point) 6 points 19 points 25 points Total points 118 96 86 Figure 1: Table Illustrating the Points Awarded to Each Strategy Figure 2: A Pie Chart Showing the Perceived Effectiveness for Each Strategy Discussion Implications The overall goal of this project was to develop several new strategies for increasing the awareness of UBC Recreation. Based on the findings of this study, it can be suggested that the three methods that were devised can have a positive impact if they were to be implemented at UBC. Perhaps if UBC Recreation pursues the strategy of having specific social media platforms UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              8 for different programs (e.g. aquatics, intramurals, tennis, fitness, or rowing, etc.), a greater amount of students from this population may be aware of UBC Recreation opportunities that best fit their interests. Furthermore, from several of the interviews, it was commonly agreed upon that being more aware of such opportunities would likely incline them to join recreation programs than if they were unaware. This supports the research done by Clark and Anderson (2011), as they state that recreation awareness was positively correlated with recreation participation. The research done on current literature has also explained the associated health benefits of increased focus on campus recreation. This includes increased mental health, as well as student retention, and creating long term healthy behaviours (Theodoratou et al., 2016; Gibson, 2013). Further research can also be done on to find out if there is a statistical significant difference between these methods in its effectiveness for different populations such as males or older aged individuals. The knowledge gained from such research may provide insight on what UBC Recreation needs to pool their resources towards for increasing awareness among students. This could then result in providing more communication channels for multiple populations rather than the restricted population included in this study. With an increase in recreation awareness and focus, participation is likely to increase as well. As previous research has claimed, the health benefits of recreational activities can have a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of students.   Limitations Several challenges occurred when carrying out the study, mainly during the data collection process. One problem was finding students that fit the population description. To address this challenge, interviewers went to multiple buildings around campus that hold first year engineering classes during busier hours of the day to approach possible participants. Interviewers also messaged females that were part of the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” group on Facebook. After finding the specific population for our study, it was also a challenge to make sure they would be willing to participate in a 15-20 minute interview. Therefore, an incentive in the form of a candy bar was given to those who participated in order to entice them to take part in the study. Another challenge is the effect of living on campus - a confounding variable present in this study. As location of residence was not part of any of the restrictions when choosing participants, this may have caused some differences in the data collection process. Students who live on campus or near UBC are more likely be aware of UBC Recreation programs due to being on campus more often than a commuting student. To mitigate for this, the population was made as specific as possible in other aspects such as gender, age, and academic focus. Furthermore, the small sample size was also a limitation to the implications of the findings. The problem with having a small sample size is that it “has a reduced chance of detecting a true effect” (Button et al., 2013, p. 365). According to this, the responses that were recorded from the interviews with eight participants may not necessarily reflect what a larger sample size of first year female engineering students at UBC might say. To mitigate for this limitation, the quick ranking survey was created and given to 50 first year female engineering UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              9 students at UBC in order to increase the sample size when determining what strategies were perceived to be most effective in promoting UBC Recreation awareness. As data collection only came from females, this was also another limitation to the implications of the results in this study. With the recommendations devised from this study on how to increase awareness for UBC Recreation, there will be an uncertainty as to whether these methods are perceived to be effective to the male population as well. As shown by the findings of Buckworth and Nigg (2014), males are more physically active than women, thus they could have a different perception surrounding awareness of UBC Recreation programming. For example, Buckworth and Nigg (2014) showed that males spend more time on computers than females. This could imply that males are more susceptible to advertisements on computers such as social media or websites. To overcome this challenge, we implicate that further studies must be done to determine whether the recommendations that were devised from this study that were perceived to be effective by first year female engineering students at UBC also remain effective for their male counterparts.  Recommendations Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs  This strategy includes having specific social media outlets for different UBC Recreation programs. This was the top ranked strategy based on the ranking survey that was completed by 50 first year female engineering students at UBC. As shown in the literature review of this study, research from Bayne and Cianfrone (2013) has shown that the use of social media platforms is vital in the promotion of recreational events. For example, Facebook is a network where people can be constantly updated on any important information. Facebook is also useful for seeing whether people are willing to attend any special upcoming events for UBC Recreation through the use of polls, and whether their organization should put the time, effort, and resources into making the event happen. Furthermore, a majority of the interviewed students were shown to report heavy usage rates with social media. One Interviewee also mentioned using different media platforms for keeping up with different news. Therefore, by having a UBC Recreation page for each specific program, it may resonate to the specific needs and wants of different individuals. Thus, different social networking platforms for different recreational programs may be more effective in increasing awareness compared to a general one for all of UBC Recreation. Regular Email Updates This method includes giving consistent email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interests students. This could be implemented at UBC by promoting an email subscription on the UBC Recreation website under a specific program. For example, if a student were to be interested in the UBC Aquatics program, they can sign up for an email subscription for UBC Aquatics and receive regular email updates on their specific classes, drop-in dates and times, or events that they may hold.  This way, the email updates are targeted towards individuals interests and consistently meets their needs, keeping them informed and in the loop. For example, an email subscription for UBC Intramurals could send out email reminders of registration deadlines to sign up for a UBC Intramurals team. Also, based on the interviews, it UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              10 was shown that students are checking their emails regularly on their smartphones as professors at UBC are sending out email updates for their classes. Therefore, by using this communication channel that is regularly viewed by students, it may be a very useful recommendation in increasing the awareness for UBC Recreation.  Guest UBC REC Speakers This method refers to having UBC Recreation representatives come and speak to classes before a lecture begins. These speakers should not only speak about the programs that they offer, but they should also mention the associated health benefits of increased campus recreation awareness. For example, the conclusions of the research by Theodoratou et al. (2000) signify the improved mental health seen with engagement in physical activity. Furthermore, Gibson (2013) stated that increased focus on campus recreation helped students to develop long term healthy behaviours. From the large levels of stress and anxiety that is a byproduct of the engineering program’s heavy course load, an improvement in the focus of campus recreation programs is likely to aid in the management of these stressors (Maharaj et al., 2018). By having the students understand the health benefits of recreational activities, they may be more inclined to make the choice themselves to follow up and be more aware of how to join UBC Recreation programs. Therefore, implementing this strategy may still be effective in increasing awareness for UBC Recreation even though it was the voted last, and additional research can be done on what information should be talked about during these presentations.    UBC RECREATION AWARENESS                                                                           11 References   Andre, E. K., Williams, N. Schwartz, F. & Bullard, C. (2017). Benefits of Campus Outdoor Recreation Programs: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership. 9(1), 15-25. doi:10.18666/JOREL-2017-V9-I1-7491   Apostolou, M. (2015) The evolution of sports: Age-cohort effects in sports participation, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13, 359-370. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2014.982678   Aspinall, P., Mavros, P., Coyne, R., & Roe, J. (2013). The urban brain: Analyzing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG.  British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49, 272–276. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-091877   Bayne, K., Cianfrone, B. (2013). The effectiveness of social media marketing: The impact of Facebook status updates on a campus recreation event. Recreational Sports Journal, 37, 147-159. doi:10.1123/rsj.37.2.147   Buckworth, J. & Nigg, C. (2004). Physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behavior in college students. Journal of American College Health, 53(1), 28-34. doi:10.3200/JACH.53.1.28-34   Button, K. S., Ioannidis, J. P., Mokrysz, C., Nosek, B. A., Flint, J., Robinson, E. S., & Munafò, M. R. (2013). Power failure: Why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(5), 365. doi:10.1038/nrn3475   Clark, B. S., & Anderson, D. M. (2011). “I’d be dead if I didn’t have this class:” The role of leisure education in college student development. Recreational Sports Journal, 35(1), 45-55. https://doi.org/10.1123/rsj.35.1.45  Dee, K. C. (2007). Student perceptions of high course workloads are not associated with poor  student evaluations of instructor performance. Journal Of Engineering Education, 96(1), 69-78. doi:10.1002/j.2168-9830.2007.tb00916.x   Doody, O., & Noonan, M. (2013). Preparing and conducting interviews to collect data. Nurse Researcher, 20(5), 28-32.   Galetta, A., & Cross, W. (2013). Mastering the semi-structured interview and beyond: From research design to analysis and publication. New York: New York University Press.   Gibson, A. (2013). Analyzing the presence of marketing in campus recreation departments (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from https://uknowledge.uky.edu/mpampp_etds/37   Hardy, G., & Hellman, G. (2011). A study of campus recreation usage: Developing our student body into well-balanced graduates (Master’s thesis) Retrieved from http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/honors_et/63   UBC RECREATION AWARENESS                                                                           12 Levandoski, G., Pilatti, L.A., & Zannin, P. H. (2016). Quality of life, physical activity and  risk behaviors: A case study in mechanical engineering students. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 10(4), 19-27. doi:10.4236/jss.2016.410002  Maharaj, C., Blair, E., & Chin Yuen Kee, S. (2018). The motivation to study: an analysis of  undergraduate engineering students at a Caribbean university. Journal Of Further & Higher Education, 42(1), 24-35. doi:10.1080/0309877X.2016.1188901  Mikkonen, J., & Raphael, D. (2010). Social determinants of health: The Canadian facts. Toronto, ON: York University School of Health Policy and Management   Sturts, J. R., & Ross, C. M. (2013). Collegiate intramural sports participation: Identified social outcomes. International Journal of Sport Management Recreation & Tourism, 11, 25-41. doi:10.5199/ijsmart-1791-874X-11b  Theodoratou, M., Dritsas, I., Saltou, M., Dimas, V., Spyropoulos, A., Nikolopoulou, E., &  Valsami, O. (2016). Physical exercise and students’ mental health. European Psychiatry, 33, 114-289. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.533   UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program Student Research Report Improving the Awareness of UBC RecreationSabrina Sumar, David Yap, Davin Gill, Harmanat Buttar  University of British Columbia KIN 464 Themes: Community, Wellbeing April 3, 2018 Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student research project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore, readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Sustainability Program representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              1 Executive Summary The title of this project is, “Improving the Awareness of UBC Recreation”. The purpose of the assignment was to develop several new methods for a specific campus group that may be most effective in improving UBC Recreation awareness. Research on current literature was completed to gain background knowledge on the chosen population; first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. This population was chosen because studies have shown that their group would benefit tremendously from being more aware about recreational opportunities on campus.  The associated health benefits of physical activity for this population and the importance of creating awareness surrounding recreational opportunities for engaging in physical activity were also looked into. The literature review explained how engineering students have been found to experience significantly greater academic workloads in comparison to students from other programs. Their busy schedule is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. Multiple studies show that mental health can be improved by the participation in physical activity, ultimately allowing them to better cope with their stress. Furthermore, effective strategies for promoting recreational programs in universities/colleges were discussed. Interview questions were then developed with the focus being on increasing awareness of UBC Recreation. With these questions, semi-structured interviews were conducted and the population’s current awareness of UBC Recreation opportunities was discovered. Based on the recurring themes from the interviews, three recommendations on how to increase awareness for UBC Recreation were devised: “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs”, “Regular Email Updates” and “Guest UBC REC Speakers”.  After this information was analyzed, a survey was developed consisting of a ranking system, in which the 3 strategies were judged based on how well each could potentially improve an individual's awareness of UBC Recreation . This survey was distributed across 50 first year female engineering students that were found on the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” Facebook group and contacted via Facebook Messenger. These students ranked the developed methods from most to least effective. After this was completed, the data was then analyzed and led to several implications. First, the most effective method for improving the awareness of UBC Recreation for first year female engineering students is through having specific social media pages for each UBC Recreation program. The second highest ranked method was through receiving email updates about UBC Recreation opportunities. The method that was perceived to be least effective was UBC Recreation representatives coming to classes to speak about their programs and the health benefits associated with increased campus recreation focus.  With these findings UBC Recreation now has the opportunity to implement the recommended strategies. The awareness of recreation programs on campus may then be increased and these students may be more likely to participate as well. This can inadvertently improve mental health, and develop lifelong healthy behaviours which previous authors have found to be associated with increased campus recreation focus. The findings of this study provide insight on further research that can be done on which programs are most effective for different populations. UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              2 Introduction Based on the current literature, there are numerous benefits associated with involvement in campus recreation programs such as: smoother high school to university transition, increased performance in academia, increased mental and physical health, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and an increased campus community and social interaction (Aspinall, Mavros, Coyne, & Roe, 2013; Andre, Williams, Schwartz & Bullard, 2017; Clark & Anderson, 2011). Limitations in campus recreation programs are seen when the campus community is not aware of the current recreation programs that are being offered (Clark & Anderson, 2011). To address this gap, student interviews were utilized to discover the best methods for increasing awareness of UBC recreation programs that are offered. This project explored how to increase awareness of campus recreation programs for first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. This was done by analyzing the data collected from this project to develop several recommendations of promoting awareness of UBC Recreation programs and classes offered to the campus. The contribution of this work will offer information on how to improve awareness for UBC Recreation programming, with the residual effect of improving the health and well-being of students at UBC overall. Literature Review  Awareness of campus recreation opportunities is the fundamental concern this project aims to address, as awareness and participation rates of campus recreation are positively correlated (Clark & Anderson, 2011). This project was guided by the works of Bayne and Cianfrone (2013), which emphasized the use of marketing when raising awareness for campus recreation events. The study found participants to have high usage rates of Facebook, which led them to conclude that keeping an up to date Facebook page is beneficial for increasing recreation participation (Bayne & Cianfrone, 2013). Bayne and Cianfrone (2013) also suggested that recreation staff could use social media to see if students would potentially attend a recreation event by creating polls. This is beneficial in determining whether or not to take the time and resources towards the development of a recreational event before it has begun, while improving awareness of recreational opportunities altogether (Bayne & Cianfrone, 2013).  In addition, based on the high course workload of engineering programs, first year students tend to have increased levels of stress and anxiety when transitioning from high school to university (Maharaj, Blair, & Chin Yuen Kee, 2018).  Numerous studies show physical activity improves mental health, including dealing with stress, which is why creating awareness for campus recreation to this population would have a great impact (Theodoratou et al., 2016). Moreover, a thesis conducted by Gibson (2013), found that not only did increased focus on campus recreation improve student retention rates, but  it “was [also] used as a tool to help create long-term healthy behaviors” (p. 8). The thesis conducted by Gibson (2013) guided the purpose of this project by providing the opportunity for future research regarding long term benefits of campus recreation awareness.  Furthermore, a quantitative study with a sample of 301 undergraduate students found the greatest benefits of campus recreation programs to be reported from first year college students and all year female students (Sturts, & Ross, 2017). Sturts and Ross (2017) found that these UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              3 benefits include increased learning, development, and personal relationship building. Limitations for both studies would be the use of convenience samples. More research should be done identifying gaps such as preferred recreation programs, most effective advertising methods, and the rate at which academic success can be improved with campus recreation engagement (Hardy, Carson, Hellman, & Garrett, 2011). Based on the current literature, it would be beneficial to determine the most effective and efficient strategies for promoting campus recreation for first year female engineering students as there are numerous benefits for all university students at a physical, mental, and social level (Aspinal et al., 2013; Andre et al., 2017; Clark & Anderson, 2011; Sturts & Ross, 2017). Methods Population The population that we have chosen are first year female students that are enrolled in the engineering program at UBC and are within an age range of 17 to 21. By choosing first year students, it is assumed that they are less aware of UBC Recreation opportunities as they are relatively new members on campus compared to their upper year peers. The specification for only engineering students to be included in the study was due to the fact that engineering students face a relatively large workload in comparison to other academic disciplines (Dee, 2007). As mentioned previously in the literature review, the transition to a heavier course load compared to high school often overwhelms first year students and leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety (Maharaj et al., 2018). Therefore, due to the busier schedule for engineering students, their time management towards recreational activities may be affected. Engineering students were also chosen because Mikkonen and Raphael (2010) state that education is a social determinant of health, and by choosing individuals in the same program, they are likely to have similar perceptions surrounding physical activity. These are valid reasons to be less aware of UBC Recreation opportunities and why a population of first year engineering students have been chosen.  In addition, the justification for the population being 17 to 21 year old females is that gender and age are also social determinants of health (Mikkonen & Raphael, 2010). Buckworth and Nigg (2004) found that the age of females was negatively correlated with engagement in physical activity, while the age of males was positively correlated with physical activity. Therefore, having restrictions on age and gender for the study ensured that the differences in their patterns of engagement in physical activity were minimized. Because of this difference in physical activity across age and gender, it was assumed that the chosen population would have similar awareness of UBC Recreation programs in comparison to groups with all ages and genders. Furthermore, when Buckworth and Nigg (2014) analyzed the effect of gender on physical activity, they found that in general, men were more physically active than women. This suggests that males are more likely to be aware of physical activity opportunities in the form of UBC Recreation compared to females. This is why the population chosen included the restrictions on age and gender. The study’s population is shown to be one that benefits tremendously from physical activity as it is well established in literature that physical activity improves mental health, UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              4 allowing them to effectively cope with the heavy course load as an engineering student (Theodoratou et al. 2016). Also, Levandoski, Pilatti and Zannin (2016) showed that regular physical activity aids in reducing risk factors and enhancing the quality of life especially among engineering students. For this reason, the female engineering student population would greatly benefit from increased awareness of campus recreation, as it would help manage stress and anxiety while indirectly boosting numerous other health functions (Theodoratou et al. 2016).    Procedure In regards to the data collection process, Doody and Noonan (2013) showed that semi-structured interviews are the most frequently used type of interview when conducting qualitative studies. These kinds of interviews have a set of predetermined and open-ended questions, that allow for free talk and exploration between the interviewer and interviewee (Doody & Noonan, 2013). This leads the interview into becoming more of a conversation due to its flexible nature. New perspectives can also be discovered and discussed rather than having restrictions on what can be said like in structured interviews. During semi-structured interviews, the order and wording of questions may be altered and additional relevant topics can be added in order to gain more in-depth knowledge about the participants experience with the overarching topic (Doody & Noonan, 2013). This method was the best fit for this project because when asking semi-structured questions to the interviewees, it helped guide the conversation and reach a better understanding of their thoughts about UBC Recreation awareness.  The methods in how to carry out these semi-structured interviews effectively are also shown by Galetta and Cross (2013). They suggest that the use of the researcher as an instrument is essential to the interview process. This means that the interviewer must be able to pick up on any subtle hints that the participants give off during the conversation (Galetta & Cross, 2013). They also need to be able to prompt the participant by using additional questions, rephrasing words, and making appropriate changes according to the nature of the conversation (Galetta & Cross, 2013). By doing this, more detailed information can be retrieved and the interviewer can gain a deeper understanding of what the point the participant is trying to get across (Galetta & Cross, 2013).  Based on the research done by Doody and Noonan (2013), and Galetta and Cross (2013), it was decided that the data collection for this project would consist of semi-structured qualitative interviews. Interviews were then conducted with eight first year female engineering UBC students using several open-ended questions about UBC recreational programs and different forms of communication methods (refer to Appendix A). These interviews were 15 to 20 minutes long and the responses helped give information on how aware students were about UBC recreational programs and what communication channels were administered into gaining this knowledge. Furthermore, recommendations from students were taken in on how to improve the awareness of UBC Recreation programs. The interviews for this project were conducted on campus throughout the school week. Recruiting potential participants for the interviews was done by visiting buildings which hold first year engineering classes and letting people know about the study. To entice participants, candy bars were given to those who were willing to be an interviewee. Recruitment was also UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              5 done by messaging first year female students in the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” Facebook group on Facebook Messenger and asking them if they would like to participate. All interviewees received an informed consent form where they agreed to have their interview sessions recorded (refer to Appendix O-R). Participants were ensured of their privacy and confidentiality in that their identity will remain anonymous. The entire data collection process was conducted in an ethical manner as all interviewers have TCPS 2 certificates (refer to Appendix A).   With the knowledge gained from the interview process, three methods of how to increase  UBC Recreation awareness were devised. A ranking survey was then created in which participants ranked the three methods from most to least effective. This quick survey was given out to 50 first year female engineering students at UBC. These students were again found using the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” group on Facebook. They were messaged through Facebook Messenger and asked to rank the three methods in order from most to least effective. It was also mentioned to these students that by ranking the methods, they are voluntarily giving informed consent for their ranking to be used as part of our data collection process. After the survey data was collected, each method was assigned a point from one to three based on its ranking by the participants. The method that was ranked most effective was given three points, the second most effective method was given two points and so on and so forth for each of the 50 distributed ranking surveys. By graphing this data, it gave a clear visual representation on which methods for increasing awareness was resonated most with first year female engineering students at UBC.  Findings We conducted 8 semi-structured interviews with first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. From those interviews, common themes emerged in regards to the most effective awareness strategies in promoting UBC Recreation. The first common theme among the interviews came when asking which social media outlet was used most; the most popular answer was Facebook or Instagram. One interviewee had this to say, “No, I don’t check the social media pages for UBC Rec, however I have seen it pop up on my feeds before. Or, some people that are apart of programs within UBC Rec have tagged their social media page”, (Anonymous, personal communication, March 5, 2018; refer to Appendix E). This led us to believe that the use of social media for promoting UBC Recreation resonates more with this specific campus population. Another common theme that consistently showed from the interviews was the method in which people preferred to be updated on future campus recreation opportunities. One interviewee stated, “I have it set so my UBC emails come to my personal email, and a lot of my friends have it the same way so they do not miss important information. If UBC Recreation sent emails to me about future recreation program opportunities, I would definitely feel more aware and there is a better chance I would participate”, (Anonymous, personal communication, March 5, 2018, refer to Appendix D). Few of the interviewees also suggested making short announcements before each lecture had begun. One interviewee went on to say,  UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              6 “In class, it seems like we are always educated on abroad programs, or science opportunities, but I think UBC Rec should be addressed more in class as well to enhance the involvement of students. So, hearing more about it through a quick minute before class starts would be nice”, (Anonymous, personal communication, March 6, 2018; refer to Appendix M).  Lastly, another noteworthy theme that emerged from the interviews was having multiple platforms to broadcast the different programs offered by UBC Recreation. One interviewee went on to say,  “I check different social media platforms for different news. I follow ESPN for my sports news, I follow New York Times for news on politics and pop culture, so UBC Recreation would benefit if they had pages that promoted basketball only, or soccer only, etc. The more narrow the better” (Anonymous, personal communication, March 7, 2018; refer to Appendix M). Based on the recurring themes from the interviews, we surveyed 50 first year female UBC engineering students with a ranking survey. The three awareness strategies that were ranked included: having specific social media outlets for different UBC Recreation programs, giving email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interest students and finally, having UBC Recreation staff/volunteers talk in front of the class before a lecture. With these strategies, three titles were given respectively: 1. Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs2. Regular Email Updates3. Guest UBC REC SpeakersFor this ranking survey, the most effective perceived awareness strategy received three points, the second most effective received two points, and the least effective received one point (refer to Figure 1). Of the 50 participants, 24 of them chose “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs” as their top strategy, 20 chose it as their second best ranked strategy and 6 people chose it as their least effective strategy. 15 participants had “Regular Email Updates” as their top strategy, 16 had it as their second ranked strategy and 19 had it as their least effective strategy. 11 participants chose “Guest UBC REC Speakers” as their top ranked strategy, 14 chose it as their second ranked strategy and 25 chose it as their least effective strategy.  After totaling the points, the most effective perceived strategy to promote awareness of UBC Recreation programs was “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs” with 118 points. The second most effective perceived strategy to promote awareness of UBC Recreation programs was “Regular Email Updates”, which had 96 points. Lastly, the least effective perceived strategy to promote awareness of UBC Recreation programs was the “Guest UBC REC Speakers” method, which had 86 points. Therefore,  in order from most to least effective methods, the strategies were: “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              7 Programs”, “Regular Email Updates”, “Guest UBC REC Speakers”, respectively (refer to Figure 2). Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs: Having specific social media outlets for different UBC Recreation programs Regular Email Updates: Giving email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interest students Guest UBC REC Speakers: Having UBC Recreation staff/volunteers talk in front of the class before a lecture Most Effective (3 points) 72 points 45 points 33 points Second Most Effective (2 points) 40 points 32 points 28 points Least Effective (1 point) 6 points 19 points 25 points Total points 118 96 86 Figure 1: Table Illustrating the Points Awarded to Each Strategy Figure 2: A Pie Chart Showing the Perceived Effectiveness for Each Strategy Discussion Implications The overall goal of this project was to develop several new strategies for increasing the awareness of UBC Recreation. Based on the findings of this study, it can be suggested that the three methods that were devised can have a positive impact if they were to be implemented at UBC. Perhaps if UBC Recreation pursues the strategy of having specific social media platforms UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              8 for different programs (e.g. aquatics, intramurals, tennis, fitness, or rowing, etc.), a greater amount of students from this population may be aware of UBC Recreation opportunities that best fit their interests. Furthermore, from several of the interviews, it was commonly agreed upon that being more aware of such opportunities would likely incline them to join recreation programs than if they were unaware. This supports the research done by Clark and Anderson (2011), as they state that recreation awareness was positively correlated with recreation participation. The research done on current literature has also explained the associated health benefits of increased focus on campus recreation. This includes increased mental health, as well as student retention, and creating long term healthy behaviours (Theodoratou et al., 2016; Gibson, 2013). Further research can also be done on to find out if there is a statistical significant difference between these methods in its effectiveness for different populations such as males or older aged individuals. The knowledge gained from such research may provide insight on what UBC Recreation needs to pool their resources towards for increasing awareness among students. This could then result in providing more communication channels for multiple populations rather than the restricted population included in this study. With an increase in recreation awareness and focus, participation is likely to increase as well. As previous research has claimed, the health benefits of recreational activities can have a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of students.   Limitations Several challenges occurred when carrying out the study, mainly during the data collection process. One problem was finding students that fit the population description. To address this challenge, interviewers went to multiple buildings around campus that hold first year engineering classes during busier hours of the day to approach possible participants. Interviewers also messaged females that were part of the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017-2018” group on Facebook. After finding the specific population for our study, it was also a challenge to make sure they would be willing to participate in a 15-20 minute interview. Therefore, an incentive in the form of a candy bar was given to those who participated in order to entice them to take part in the study. Another challenge is the effect of living on campus - a confounding variable present in this study. As location of residence was not part of any of the restrictions when choosing participants, this may have caused some differences in the data collection process. Students who live on campus or near UBC are more likely be aware of UBC Recreation programs due to being on campus more often than a commuting student. To mitigate for this, the population was made as specific as possible in other aspects such as gender, age, and academic focus. Furthermore, the small sample size was also a limitation to the implications of the findings. The problem with having a small sample size is that it “has a reduced chance of detecting a true effect” (Button et al., 2013, p. 365). According to this, the responses that were recorded from the interviews with eight participants may not necessarily reflect what a larger sample size of first year female engineering students at UBC might say. To mitigate for this limitation, the quick ranking survey was created and given to 50 first year female engineering UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              9 students at UBC in order to increase the sample size when determining what strategies were perceived to be most effective in promoting UBC Recreation awareness. As data collection only came from females, this was also another limitation to the implications of the results in this study. With the recommendations devised from this study on how to increase awareness for UBC Recreation, there will be an uncertainty as to whether these methods are perceived to be effective to the male population as well. As shown by the findings of Buckworth and Nigg (2014), males are more physically active than women, thus they could have a different perception surrounding awareness of UBC Recreation programming. For example, Buckworth and Nigg (2014) showed that males spend more time on computers than females. This could imply that males are more susceptible to advertisements on computers such as social media or websites. To overcome this challenge, we implicate that further studies must be done to determine whether the recommendations that were devised from this study that were perceived to be effective by first year female engineering students at UBC also remain effective for their male counterparts.  Recommendations Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs  This strategy includes having specific social media outlets for different UBC Recreation programs. This was the top ranked strategy based on the ranking survey that was completed by 50 first year female engineering students at UBC. As shown in the literature review of this study, research from Bayne and Cianfrone (2013) has shown that the use of social media platforms is vital in the promotion of recreational events. For example, Facebook is a network where people can be constantly updated on any important information. Facebook is also useful for seeing whether people are willing to attend any special upcoming events for UBC Recreation through the use of polls, and whether their organization should put the time, effort, and resources into making the event happen. Furthermore, a majority of the interviewed students were shown to report heavy usage rates with social media. One Interviewee also mentioned using different media platforms for keeping up with different news. Therefore, by having a UBC Recreation page for each specific program, it may resonate to the specific needs and wants of different individuals. Thus, different social networking platforms for different recreational programs may be more effective in increasing awareness compared to a general one for all of UBC Recreation. Regular Email Updates This method includes giving consistent email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interests students. This could be implemented at UBC by promoting an email subscription on the UBC Recreation website under a specific program. For example, if a student were to be interested in the UBC Aquatics program, they can sign up for an email subscription for UBC Aquatics and receive regular email updates on their specific classes, drop-in dates and times, or events that they may hold.  This way, the email updates are targeted towards individuals interests and consistently meets their needs, keeping them informed and in the loop. For example, an email subscription for UBC Intramurals could send out email reminders of registration deadlines to sign up for a UBC Intramurals team. Also, based on the interviews, it UBC RECREATION AWARENESS              10 was shown that students are checking their emails regularly on their smartphones as professors at UBC are sending out email updates for their classes. Therefore, by using this communication channel that is regularly viewed by students, it may be a very useful recommendation in increasing the awareness for UBC Recreation.  Guest UBC REC Speakers This method refers to having UBC Recreation representatives come and speak to classes before a lecture begins. These speakers should not only speak about the programs that they offer, but they should also mention the associated health benefits of increased campus recreation awareness. For example, the conclusions of the research by Theodoratou et al. (2000) signify the improved mental health seen with engagement in physical activity. Furthermore, Gibson (2013) stated that increased focus on campus recreation helped students to develop long term healthy behaviours. From the large levels of stress and anxiety that is a byproduct of the engineering program’s heavy course load, an improvement in the focus of campus recreation programs is likely to aid in the management of these stressors (Maharaj et al., 2018). By having the students understand the health benefits of recreational activities, they may be more inclined to make the choice themselves to follow up and be more aware of how to join UBC Recreation programs. Therefore, implementing this strategy may still be effective in increasing awareness for UBC Recreation even though it was the voted last, and additional research can be done on what information should be talked about during these presentations.    UBC RECREATION AWARENESS                                                                           11 References   Andre, E. K., Williams, N. Schwartz, F. & Bullard, C. (2017). Benefits of Campus Outdoor Recreation Programs: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership. 9(1), 15-25. doi:10.18666/JOREL-2017-V9-I1-7491   Apostolou, M. (2015) The evolution of sports: Age-cohort effects in sports participation, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13, 359-370. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2014.982678   Aspinall, P., Mavros, P., Coyne, R., & Roe, J. (2013). The urban brain: Analyzing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG.  British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49, 272–276. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-091877   Bayne, K., Cianfrone, B. (2013). The effectiveness of social media marketing: The impact of Facebook status updates on a campus recreation event. Recreational Sports Journal, 37, 147-159. doi:10.1123/rsj.37.2.147   Buckworth, J. & Nigg, C. (2004). Physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behavior in college students. Journal of American College Health, 53(1), 28-34. doi:10.3200/JACH.53.1.28-34   Button, K. S., Ioannidis, J. P., Mokrysz, C., Nosek, B. A., Flint, J., Robinson, E. S., & Munafò, M. R. (2013). Power failure: Why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(5), 365. doi:10.1038/nrn3475   Clark, B. S., & Anderson, D. M. (2011). “I’d be dead if I didn’t have this class:” The role of leisure education in college student development. Recreational Sports Journal, 35(1), 45-55. https://doi.org/10.1123/rsj.35.1.45  Dee, K. C. (2007). Student perceptions of high course workloads are not associated with poor  student evaluations of instructor performance. Journal Of Engineering Education, 96(1), 69-78. doi:10.1002/j.2168-9830.2007.tb00916.x   Doody, O., & Noonan, M. (2013). Preparing and conducting interviews to collect data. Nurse Researcher, 20(5), 28-32.   Galetta, A., & Cross, W. (2013). Mastering the semi-structured interview and beyond: From research design to analysis and publication. New York: New York University Press.   Gibson, A. (2013). Analyzing the presence of marketing in campus recreation departments (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from https://uknowledge.uky.edu/mpampp_etds/37   Hardy, G., & Hellman, G. (2011). A study of campus recreation usage: Developing our student body into well-balanced graduates (Master’s thesis) Retrieved from http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/honors_et/63   UBC RECREATION AWARENESS                                                                           12 Levandoski, G., Pilatti, L.A., & Zannin, P. H. (2016). Quality of life, physical activity and  risk behaviors: A case study in mechanical engineering students. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 10(4), 19-27. doi:10.4236/jss.2016.410002  Maharaj, C., Blair, E., & Chin Yuen Kee, S. (2018). The motivation to study: an analysis of  undergraduate engineering students at a Caribbean university. Journal Of Further & Higher Education, 42(1), 24-35. doi:10.1080/0309877X.2016.1188901  Mikkonen, J., & Raphael, D. (2010). Social determinants of health: The Canadian facts. Toronto, ON: York University School of Health Policy and Management   Sturts, J. R., & Ross, C. M. (2013). Collegiate intramural sports participation: Identified social outcomes. International Journal of Sport Management Recreation & Tourism, 11, 25-41. doi:10.5199/ijsmart-1791-874X-11b  Theodoratou, M., Dritsas, I., Saltou, M., Dimas, V., Spyropoulos, A., Nikolopoulou, E., &  Valsami, O. (2016). Physical exercise and students’ mental health. European Psychiatry, 33, 114-289. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.533   Partners Delete shape and insert partner logo (if applicable) University of British Columbia, School of Kinesiology   Improving the Awareness of UBC Recreation Harmanat Buttar, David Yap, Sabrina Sumar, Davin Gill   Background Campus Recreation has been shown to boost performance in academia, create a better mental and physical state, decrease levels of stress and anxiety, and acts as a great stepping stone to provide a smooth transition from high school to university for incoming students.1 However, awareness of these campus recreation programs is a major factor that limits the participation rates. This project aims to bring awareness of campus recreation to a specific population, which is first year, female engineering students. This research addresses that gap by interviewing samples of the population to determine the most effective methods to increase campus recreation awareness.            Project Design The findings presented here are drawn from a project entitled: Improving the Effectiveness of UBC Recreation Communication Channels. It included surveys and semi-structured interviews exploring campus recreation and how it can be improved.  INCLUSION CRITERIA: First year, female engineering students enrolled in the engineering program, aged 17-21. By choosing first year students, it can be assumed that they are less aware of UBC recreation opportunities as they are new to campus.  SURVEY: A ranking survey was distributed to 50 members of our population which had participants rank which method would be most effective to least effective in increasing awareness for UBC Recreation.   INTERVIEWS: 8 respondents from our survey followed up with a short, qualitative interview.   SAMPLE: 8 first year, female engineering students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC completed the survey and then followed up with a semi-structured interview. POPULATION JUSTIFICATION: The justification for choosing a 17 to 21 year old female population is that gender and age are also social determinants of health.4 Age of females was negatively correlated with physical activity engagement, while the age of males was positively correlated with physical activity.3 The specification for only engineering students to be included in the study was due to the fact that engineering students face a relatively large workload in comparison to other academic disciplines, and their time management towards leisure activities may be affected.2  Findings After conducting 8 semi-structured interviews, 3 common themes emerged as to increasing awareness of UBC Campus Recreation opportunities.  1.  When asked which social media outlet was used most, the most popular answer was Facebook or Instagram. 2.  Participants preferred email updates  about future UBC Recreation opportunities  3.  Participants also preferred having a UBC Recreation representative speak shortly before lectures to provide updates on future UBC Recreation opportunities.    •   When asked how she would like to hear future UBC recreation opportunities. Interview quote: “In class, it seems like we are always educated on abroad programs, or science opportunities, but I think UBC Rec should be addressed more in class as well to enhance the involvement of students. So, hearing more about it through a quick minute before class  starts would be nice.” •  If you knew more about UBC Recreation opportunities and their updates, would it make you want to join their program? Interview quote: “Yes, if I was more aware of what they offer then there’s a higher chance of me finding something I would want to join” Discussion IMPLICATIONS: From the findings it can be seen that the most effective strategy in promoting UBC Recreation awareness was “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs”.  Perhaps if UBC Recreation pursues this strategy of having specific social media platforms for different programs (eg. aquatics, intramurals, tennis, fitness, or rowing, etc), a greater amount of students from this population may be aware of UBC Recreation opportunities that best fit them.         LIMITATIONS: There were some challenges that occurred when carrying out our study, mainly during the data collection process. One problem was finding students that fit our population description. To address this challenge, interviewers went to multiple buildings around campus that hold first year engineering classes during busier hours of the day to approach possible participants. Another challenge is the effect of living on campus - a confounding variable present in this study. As location of residence was not part of any of the restrictions when choosing participants, this may have caused some differences in the data collection process. The small sample size of our study is also a limitation to the implications of the findings. The problem with having a small sample size is that it “has a reduced chance of detecting a true effect.”4 As data collection only came from females, this was also another limitation to the implications of the results in this study. RECOMMENDATION: The first recommendation for increasing awareness for UBC Recreation is the “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs”. The second most voted for strategy was the “Regular Email Updates” method. This method includes giving consistent email updates for different UBC Recreation programs that interests students. The “Guest UBC REC Speakers” strategy had the least votes among the three, which involves having representatives of UBC Recreation come speak to classes prior to lecture.  Acknowledgement  We would like to thank the University of British Columbia for allowing us to conduct this research. We would also like to thank all of the first-year, female engineering students enrolled at UBC for participation in this study.    Most Effective Awareness Strategies from Greatest to Least Effective  Figure	2:	shows	from	greatest	to	least,	the	most	effec6ve	perceived	awareness	strategy.	Figure 1: Illustrates the percentages of votes for each awareness strategy. Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation programs had the most votes, Regular email was second in votes, and Guest UBC REC Speakers had the least amount of votes  	References 1Aspinall, P., Mavros, P., Coyne, R., & Roe, J. (2013). The urban brain: Analyzing outdoor physical activity with mobile EEG.British  Journal of Sports Medicine, 49, 272–276                                             2Button, K. S., Ioannidis, J. P., Mokrysz, C., Nosek, B. A., Flint, J.,Robinson, E. S., & Munafò, M. R. (2013). Power failure: Why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(5), 365.doi: 10.1038/nrn347 3Maharaj, C., Blair, E., & Chin Yuen Kee, S. (2018). The motivation to study: an analysis of undergraduate engineering students at a Caribbean university. Journal Of Further & Higher Education, 42(1), 24-35. doi:10.1080/0309877X. 2016.11889 4Mikkonen, J., & Raphael, D. (2010). Social determinants of health: The Canadian facts. Toronto, ON: York University School of Health Policy and Management 39%	33%	28%	Awareness	Strategy	Social	Media	Pla1orms	for	Specific	UBC	Recrea<on	Programs	Regular	Email	Updates	Guest	UBC	REC	Speakers	118	96	86	Social	Media	Pla1orms	for	Specific	UBC	Recrea<on	Programs	Regular	Email	Updates	 Guest	UBC	REC	Speakers	Awareness	Strategy	

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