Graduating with a bachelor’s degree is an achievement, but graduating with Honours have its own satisfaction and benefits. QUT offers a program where students are able to do a year of research in their final year, supervised by a notable lecturers of their own choice (well some, in the end it gets competitive to choose your own lecturer). Lecturers with past research experiences provide a relatable topic to the industry and we are able to explore further.
To be in the Honours program, I had to take two classes continuously- 400-1 class for the first semester and 400-2 for the second semester. My topic was “Influence of Gamification to Traffic Planning Factors on Walking Behaviour”. The first semester was all about understanding the topic within the industry, understanding the main objective of the research by understanding the gap between present research and the past ones- we don’t want to research about present stated facts, do we? This process is done through literature review, in which we are given access by QUT to several credible search engines, such as Science Direct, Engineering Village, and notable others. The supervisor acts as a guidance to the research design, although the research is done independently. Meetings between supervisors and students are scheduled in the first week of the semester for progress updates and consultation time; where in my case I meet the supervisor once every fortnight. The task in the first semester is a proposal to the topic, and the introduction as well as literature review to the main thesis. The second semester is about collecting data, not solely from literature review but actually experimenting the hypothesis that was estimated in the first semester. Each semester, we were ‘doomed’ to present just less than ten minutes, summarising the progress and conclusion, at the final exam week with a Powerpoint presentation in front of several other students under the same supervisor. This not only helps me to speak publicly, but also to present what I’ve been doing the whole semester, and year, to the audience.
The research process has helped me so much to become more critical in gaining information, in processing things systematically, trial and error process, and modeling the conclusion. Being critical is crucial nowadays especially in the working industry; the real world.