Light touch interventions for supporting academic well-being

Mentor: Dr. Norman Farb

Dr. Norman Farb

Project Description

In recent years, academic stress seem to be taking an increasing toll on undergraduate mental health seems to be rising in recent years. Encouragingly, our research shows that brief online ‘check-ins’ help students to pro-active in balancing . However these check-ins can feel like just another burden, making it unlikely that students will use them. How can we make checking-in about mental health more fun? The proposed study would involve redesigning questionnaires, and online tasks that already show promise for promoting student mental health. The student collaborator would provide literature review on research in this area, and help to create fun, game-like versions of health-promotion materials in preparation for a larger pilot study to be conducted in Fall 2021. The student would meet create a ‘storyboard’ and sample art/instructions/media for an online platform that could help to increase the ‘fun factor’ of using these materials. The student will receive training on academic literture review, procedures for running online mental health interventions, and broader aspects of study design and data collection. The student’s contribution will be featured in a larger fall 2021 project, and may have an opportunity to continue to work on the larger study and ensuing papers/posters that are derived from this work. The student will meet weekly with Prof. Farb to set project goals and discuss progress. Goals will include: conducting literature reviews; reviewing popular app techniques; reviewing existing lab materials; developing game versions of existing materials; learning basic web programming skills (javascript); and online user testing.

Mentorship Statement

Science is a team sport, and the best projects integrate diverse views to create new shared understanding. Mentorship in my lab occurs primary through regular individual (or small group) meetings, with infrequent larger lab meetings to foster relationships between teams. Students are challenged to describe research findings in their own words and to formulate their own weekly goals. Project mentorship pushes students to develop competencies in literature review, question formulation, pre-registration and power analysis, written and verbal communicaiton, experimental design, visualization and analysis of data, and programming skills. Weekly goals will focus on one or more of these areas, with deliverables that allow for concrete feedback to promote continued development. I am obsessed with how people can transform their lives for the better; if you are able to work independently and have a passion for research, I am committed to helping you to reach your goals.

Project ID 425