Factors analysis for university student course selection at Western Sydney University


There is an increasing emphasis in tertiary education to equip students with the tools that can help them make better career choices after graduation. Dr Kenan Metawie and Associate Professor Ana Hol from School of Computer, Data and Mathematics, are conducting a study to help academics identify the crucial variables that would impact on student choices for the courses in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and how it would eventually impact the choice of their career. The plan is to conduct this study with Western Sydney University students and then scale it nationally.


In order to collect data from students, there was a need to design a dynamic survey instrument that can be scaled nationally at the later stages of the study. The researchers’ knowledge of the survey tools was limited and they were struggling to achieve the desired outcome. Through the Research Services office, Kenan heard about the expertise of Intersect eResearch Analyst, Jeff Wang, and then reached out to Jeff to get his expert advice on the survey design.


Qualtrics is a powerful cloud-based survey tool that can collect data from respondents in a structured and intuitive way. In collaboration with the researchers, it was deemed that Qualtrics is an ideal tool for this study. However, only the basic knowledge of Qualtrics proved to be a significant challenge for researchers in building the appropriate survey for this research project. Jeff worked with researchers to build this survey tool which involved complicated workflows to achieve the desired outcome. Jeff is providing continued Qualtrics support to this project, including question design, display logic, end of survey settings, content validation, and survey appearance. Notably, Jeff made a couple of positive suggestions in the core project design and resolved several issues in the survey, which led to significant time savings for Kenan and his team. 


This survey has now been published and more than 150 students from STEM have already responded. Jeff continues to work with researchers to help them with data export, analysis and reporting as an ongoing support to this project. Jeff’s support to the project has been significant, here is how Dr Kenan Metawie puts it:

 “So great to have Jeff helping us with all technical issues in using Qualtrics.  He offers outstanding support that contributes to the success of our project.  His commitment and passion to support is exceptional. Many thanks to Jeff and Intersect.”

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