Week 12 & 13

After a short discussion with our tutor, we discovered that the users of O-week, the first years, could not be used as one of our stakeholders, so I developed another stakeholder story(Graham Osman) below as well as refined versions of two of our chosen stakeholder stories:

Graham Osman, Campus Cafe and Restraunts – Artisans Cafe Owner

“Hello, I am Graham Osman and I own and run ‘Artisans Cafe’ between E and D block on QUT’s Gardens Point Campus. To accommodate for the large number of people attending O-week, I roster on more staff, which costs me more money, but the added cost of more staff should be countered by the increase in customers. However, our customers do not increase much at all during O-week, resulting in a loss for the cafe. I discovered the reason for this, was that QUT’s signage around campus, and the ability of first years to navigate the campus, was negligible. More signage and assistance in navigating the campus should be put in place to avoid, not only losses for us, but also other restaurants and cafes on campus.”

Arnold Walker, QUT Staff – Economics Unit Co-ordinator

“Hello, I am Arnold Walker and I am the unit co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Economics. I have 1500 people in my unit, but I have to give 15 lecturers during O-week, to a room that holds 400 seats. This means that I, and my fellow unit co-ordinators, are wasting our time giving welcome lectures to primarily empty rooms. I would like to do only 4 lecturers during O-week so that I can get back to my work and planning for the unit. That way the university funds are being utilised more effectively and I don’t have to work longer hours to make up for lost time.”

David Gardner, QUT Guild – Tour Guide

“Hi, I’m David Gardner and I give tours of the Gardens Point campus to first years throughout O-Week. To be a part of the tour students must sign up to the event on the QUT website. However, students either don’t sign up and tag along anyway or sign up and don’t come. This leads to inconsistent tour sizes, where I may have a group of 5 to a group of 40 at any one time. If most of the students knew they had to sign up for the tours on the QUT website, I could provide better and more detailed tours of the campus.”

The potential problems of O-week that were identified from these stakeholder stories were as follows:

QUT Guild:

  • QUT Website is not clear enough about O-week and how to sign up for events.
  • O-week orientation sign up does not succeed at managing people on campus or signed up to activities as well as it should.
  • O-week events have unregistered individuals in attendance, which can lead to a placation in group/lecture sizes, making them less manageable.

QUT Staff:

  • O-week does not succeed at managing people on signed up to activities/lecturers as well as it should.
  • Staff are forced to overwork due to their required attendance of certain O-week events.
  • Staff are distracted from their more critical work.

Gardens Point Campus Restaurants & Cafes:

  • Signage on campus during O-week does not give first years insight into where everything is, including restaurants.
  • There are no navigation points, separate from basic campus signage, to help first years to where they want to go and what’s available.
  • Estimated numbers of people on campus, and in specific zones of the campus, should be provided to stalls, restaurants, cafes, staff and security, so that the correct amount of people are scheduled to work in those areas to accommodate the increased numbers.

 

After revising these problems, we selected the following to develop solutions for:

  • The QUT website is not clear enough about the details of O-week and how to sign up for events.
  • O-week orientation planner does not manage the amount of people signed up to activities/lectures.
  • Signage on campus during O-week does not give first years insight into where everything is, including restaurants.

The reason why we selected these problems is that they are the primary cause as to why O-week is not as good as it should be. Furthermore, by solving these problems, most of the other problems we have previously identified should be resolved.

With all of this information in mind we can finally describe and define what is wrong with O-week. O-week events such as tour guides and lectures have a great deal of fluctuation in their group sizes, causing issues for the QUT Guild and QUT Staff who run them. These issues pertain to the inefficiency brought by having differences in group sizes. Whether it’s the control of a group, the detail that they can provide to a group, or if there are just too many groups. In addition to the issue with events, there is an issue with the navigation of the campus. This results in areas on campus that are largely neglected by the crowds of people at O-week, which causes a loss in revenue for businesses in the areas which are neglected.

The causation of the primary issue with O-week lies in navigation, that is the navigation; of the website, orientation planner and the campus. Whilst these seem like issues for first years, which they are, the result is a negative effect on all of the stakeholder groups involved. The problem therefore with O-week is that first years are not provided the necessary means to make O-week useful and enjoyable for all involved.

As a group we decided upon 3 ways in which to solve the problems of O-week, they are as follows:

  1. Signage and navigation infrastructure should be implemented throughout the campus during O-week, potentially using ‘the cube’ and its interactive characteristics as a means of providing a map and navigation system for the campus.
  2. The QUT website should have a devoted site for orientation week, much like QUT Virtual and Blackboard.
  3. The orientation event planner must be redone so that first years can use it. The O-week planner should also converge group numbers so that the number of sessions undertaken by lecturers during O-week are reduced.

With these solutions in place, we believe that orientation week will be a much better experience for all involved.

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