Addressing King’s Business School’s causes of attainment gap
An AI virtual focus group investigation of students’ perceptions of diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing at King's Business School
King’s Business School’s Inclusive education partnership programme, aligned with the King’s Strategic Vision 2029 build an evidence-based plan towards an equitable and inclusive environment to address the attainment gap.
Despite the two quantitative data sources (PowerBI) and students’ pulse survey, students’ perceptions, inner thoughts, feelings, and experiences on D&I matters in education can be elicited through qualitative rather than quantitative investigations.
Methods such as focus groups allow students to express themselves on sensitive matters such as D&I within an institution. However, in employing focus groups, students may not share honest views to members of staff (as they are in positions of power, and this may lead to biased discussions of only positive perceptions) or fellow students (fearing consequences on social embeddedness — for ethnic minority students- and social acceptance).
In addressing the above, this study proposes an investigation of King's Business School students’ perception of D&I for different racial groups, using virtual focus groups using artificial intelligence. This is a widely used method to explore bias free D&I perceptions in industry and will benefit our business school due its advantages. This project will:
a) reinforce students’ willingness to ‘open-up’ through the journaling approach (writing answers)
b) remove response bias caused by researchers’ involvement due to power dynamics, or classmates' involvement due to social embeddedness
c) do not include identifiable data
d) be inclusive reaching a wide sample
Time period: September 2022 to July 2023
Awarding institution: King's College London (Race equity and inclusive education fund)
At the end of the investigation, a report will be generated allowing the team to achieve the following aims:
- Understand students D&I perceptions at King's Business School that may lead to students’ performance (contributing to attainment gap)
- Identify causes of racial inequality that may exists in the faculty
- Identify students’ perceptions of diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing
- Establish good practices on inclusive education (e.g., teaching and learning approaches) and practices to avoid
- Reveal the impact of students’ inclusion and diversity on their wellbeing
- Prioritise investment and actions on the EDI plan for King's Business School
- Explain current award data
This study employs an AI driven virtual focus group through an artificial intelligence leading organisation that collects data through virtual focus groups. The subjects of investigation will be undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Business School.
Dr Ilia Protopapa
Lecturer in Marketing
Inclusive Education Partner Lead at KBS