C. Results of the Research Study

Posted on: 9th May 2023


Group Research Project (25%)


Group Research Project Assignment

• This assignment is to be completed in your original group from the research proposal

• Due date & time: December 9th, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ONE person from your group should submit the assignment in Blackboard. For every day that you submit your assignment late, you will lose one mark.

• Everyone in the group will receive the same mark.

• The paper must be properly formatted (either MLA or APA format) • Use 1.5 line spacing

• During our class on December 9th, one person from each group must present and talk about your research project for 5 minutes. This presentation should briefly tell us about your topic, your research methodology and findings. Therefore, you should prepare approximately 10 PowerPoint slides and keep your presentation to 5 minutes long only. Your presentation is worth 5% and your report 20% of your final mark (Total 25%)


At this point you have submitted your research proposals and have been hired by the client company. As a professional researcher, you now must conduct your proposed research exactly like you mentioned in your proposal.


Your report should be between 10 to 15 pages with 10 pages being the minimum (EXCLUDING TITLE PAGE and APPENDIX). Make sure that you don’t use unnecessary charts and tables only to reach to 10 pages. That is displeasing and makes the rest of your report look worthless.





Your report MUST include the following:


1.     Title page

2.     Letter of transmittal (1 page)

3.     Table of contents (1 page)

4.     Executive Summary (2-4 pages)

a.     Objectives

b.     Results

c.      Conclusions

d.     Recommendations

5.     Body (6-9 pages)

a.     Introduction

1.     Background

2.     Objectives

b.     Methodology

c.      Results

d.     Limitations

e.     Conclusions and recommendations

6.     Appendix i.e., References, sample of the survey, complex tables, and calculations etc. (does not count towards your 10-15 pages)


All the abovementioned parts will be explained and discussed during week 11. In the meantime, with the knowledge that you acquired prior to the midterm, you should conduct your research.Body (6-9 pages)

a.     Introduction

1.     Background

2.     Objectives 

b.     Methodology 

c.      Results

d.     Limitations

e.     Conclusions and recommendations


The goal of this research will be to determine whether taking breaks improves productivity. Cambridge University Press (n.d.) defines productivity as the work output of a “...person, company or country…” (para. 1). This makes productivity an important factor in organizational and institutional settings: If it is affected, then the work of those within the organization or institution (e.g. students within a university, or staff within a company) will be unable to perform work to the best of their abilities.



Through online research, we identified many concepts which seem to be closely-related with productivity. Exploring these concepts is important, as it will provide us with a good background that can be used in our research. These will be taken into consideration when outlining our research objectives. In addition, they will be explored further when discussing how our survey will be designed.


One important concept related to productivity is fatigue. Fatigue is defined by CCOHS (2021) as a state of tiredness, which can be intensified through performing tasks that are monotonous or psychologically-demanding. Individuals experiencing fatigue typically experience reduced levels of productivity, in addition to problems with memorizing information (CCOHS, 2021). Based on this definition, we believe that fatigue is caused by negative environmental factors, and that has negative consequences for productivity. Therefore, we feel that it is necessary to further explore this link.


Based on our understanding of the definitions, productivity and fatigue are conditions which are closely related to an individual’s psychological well-being. We therefore believe that supporting an individual’s mental-health is essential to ensuring that organizations remain productive. In addition, literature exists which supports a link between mental health and workplace performance: a study by Ammondola et. al. (2016) found that establishing an action-based mental health program resulted in better overall workplace productivity. 


Mental health also has effects on self-efficacy, or an individual’s own assessment of their ability to perform a task. The importance of this concept was established by Vrugt & Koenis (2002), who found that people showing higher signs of self-efficacy tend to accomplish more. Self-efficacy is another concept which is tied to mental health, and therefore has the potential to be tied to productivity. A study from Lee & Jung (2018) found that introducing students to a mental-health app made them feel more productive. 


We believe that our research will be extremely important with respect to productivity. Because fatigue is a condition which is psychological, it is important to discourage individuals from entering this state in order to ensure that productivity is maintained. Taking breaks allows people to experience a moment of brief pause when completing large or complicated units of work. This might help in reducing fatigue, which results from long and demanding tasks (CCOHS, 2021).


Our research is also important because it can be applied universally across institutions. Providing or encouraging breaks does not require the use of special tools or methodologies, which makes this study applicable in virtually any setting.



Based on our decision statement (i.e. the initial research question), we have identified many different objectives that we wish to achieve as part of our research. These objectives will be considered in the following section, when we discuss how we will obtain the data for analysis.


The first objective as part of our research is to determine how people prefer to take breaks. This objective was chosen because we believed it would make our study more useful. For example, if most people share the same concept of an “ideal” activity during breaks, this would be helpful to businesses who wish to understand how they can provide better working environments for employees. Similarly, our research could be used by students to offer suggestions on how to take a break to ensure maximum productivity.


Our group also wants to determine whether emotional attitudes towards a task affect levels of productivity. This objective is an extremely important addition to our research: If there is a significant difference between tasks perceived to be “exciting” and “boring”, employers and employees will need to take this into consideration in order to ensure that maximum productivity is achieved for as long as possible.


Lastly, our group wants to determine whether the length of breaks has an impact on perceived productivity. This determination is important for our research because it determines the ideal amount of time people require to be productive. If breaks are either too long or too short to be effective, this would have a significant implication on the effectiveness of our study. Being able to answer this question would increase the validity of this survey, and would potentially increase the consistency of results if recommendations are implemented elsewhere.



This research is descriptive in nature, primarily because it is difficult to measure productivity using numerical values. As such, this survey will collect qualitative data. Our initial plan was to conduct surveys with participants through conferencing platforms, however we have since decided to use asynchronous surveys. This is primarily because it is difficult to measure productivity using quantifiable data, and because we expected challenges in conducting fieldwork due to COVID-19 protocols and online-learning arrangements. 


Conducting asynchronous surveys has numerous other benefits, including the ability to accommodate student schedules (which could potentially result in a higher response rate). Asynchronous surveying also allows access to a wider scope of potential participants, as geographical limitations do not need to be considered when gathering data.


To conduct our research, we distributed a survey questionnaire designed in Microsoft Forms to students at Humber College. The length of the questionnaire varies depending on the answers provided by participants, as not all questions from the survey are applicable to all respondents. This questionnaire uses a number of different measurement concepts commonly used by survey researchers. These include Likert scales, short-answer responses, continuous measures, and questions which involve the collection of discrete (e. g. “Yes or no”) responses. 

The survey questionnaire was distributed using popular social-media platforms, including a Facebook page for Humber College. Surveys were not distributed through Twitter and Instagram, as it is difficult to target a specific demographic using these platforms. After sending our invitations, a total of 13 people responded to the questionnaire.


Our research design is based on the psychological concept of self-efficacy, or an individual’s perception of their ability to perform a task. This concept is important with respect to the validity of our research, as Humber College students can major in a variety of disciplines at diploma and degree levels. This means that the workload varies significantly between respondents, and it is difficult to estimate the level of “busy-ness” using quantifiable factors. We believe that as individuals who are mostly of adult age, Humber College students understand their work that is required of them, and can assess their own level of productivity.


Our questionnaire consists of three parts, each of which assess one of our research objectives. In the first part, the user is asked about the faculty they belong to at Humber College and the level of engagement in their program. This section of our research fulfills the research objective of determining whether attitudes towards a task affect productivity. In addition, assuming that responses are collected from students across multiple faculties, we will be able to determine which faculties at Humber College have programs perceived as more engaging by students.

In the second part of our research, we ask students about the tasks they perform as part of their program. Students are asked how difficult and engaging they find tasks in their program through Likert-scale questions, in addition to a semantic differential scale which asks students to judge the balance in their programs between theory and labs. These questions are important because they assess the perceived length of a task, which can be a significant contributor to fatigue (CCOHS, 2021). In addition, these questions contribute to one of our research objectives, which is to determine whether attitudes toward a task affect productivity.

The third part of our survey consists of a semi-structured interview. In this section, students are asked to reflect on a recent task they have performed, by answering a series of questions about whether they found a task tiring, disengaging, or difficult to manage. Despite being assessed in earlier steps, attitudes towards task performance were included in this section to ensure consistency in emotional perceptions. Next, students are asked whether they took a break while completing their task. If participants did take a break, they are asked additional questions. One of these questions is how long their break was (which fulfills the research objective determining whether the length of break affects productivity levels) and the type of activity performed during the break. By allowing responses from students who did not take breaks, a comparison can be made in productivity levels between students who did take breaks compared to those which did not, which will allow us to fulfill the primary objective of our research. Lastly, students are asked whether they were able to complete their task as expected, and whether they would have used an alternative means of staying productive.


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C. Results of the Research Study

Our online research is descriptive, where qualitative data collected from online questionnaire surveys enhanced our determination of how breaks at a particular point of activity performance contribute to productivity improvement in the institutional setup. After posting survey questionnaires to students at Humber College, thirteen of them responded to the online questionnaires whose aim was to ascertain their understanding of the nature of program activities and measure their level of productivity. We had to address our three research objectives in the questionnaires to maximize the validity of the descriptive research. Our first research objective entails ascertaining whether attitude towards a particular task affects productivity.

As a result, participants were asked their faculty name and level of participation in program activities at Humber College. Four out of thirteen responded to the inquiry following the numerous survey questionnaires presented through social media, including the college’s Facebook page. The four respondents were students pursuing a diploma in Advertising and Graphic Design. According to their responses, graphic designers integrate art with technology to disseminate ideas, which involves varied communication techniques and tools. They all mentioned emotional attitude as a cornerstone for extreme performance within their course undertakings and the anticipated workplace. Suggesting that breaks within their program activities discourage negative attitudes towards course activities and other related tasks.

Subsequently, the five participants responded to the online survey questionnaires that entailed Likert-scale questions seeking to elaborate on the kinds of tasks they performed and the semantic differential scale that enhanced their judgment on whether their tasks were difficult or engaging. Two out of five respondents were students pursuing a diploma in Biotechnology. They stated that DNA profiling, DNA cloning, transgenesis, genome analysis and tissue engineering are the common tasks that require the integration of theories and concepts with laboratory activities. Students stated that these activities are wider in scope and require concentration to guarantee excellent performances. Denoting that fatigue and attitude within their program undertakings are common factors that diminish the provision of maximum outputs based on their capabilities.

In addition, the three other respondents are students partaking diploma in comedy writing and performance. Based on their responses, comedy writing entails scriptwriting, improvisation and sketch comedy. These activities require more time and commitment to engage with. They are also monotonous hence demanding motivation and relaxation while handling them. Finally, the last four respondents were engaged with the semi-structured interview. A series of interview prompts asked whether their previously engaged tasks were tiresome, difficult, or disengaging. Two of the respondents are clinical research students, while the other two are event managers. Clinical researchers responded that their recent activities were tiresome and difficult to handle, while the event managers stated they were quite disengaging despite their diverse activities. The discrete and multiple-choice questions that inquired whether the student took a break before task completion and the break length paved the way for our comparison. We identified that only one out of the four students took a break of thirty minutes. The clinical research student responded that the break broke monotony for the task undertaken and led to energy recovery.

D. Limitation of the Research Study

The research project encountered several limitations during its entire process. First, the online study cannot verify the problem under research statistically and demand more specific social media platforms to get relevant respondents. Secondly, the online research project relies on posted questionnaire responses prone to dishonest answers or respondents’ unconcealed plans to interfere with the research process. Also, some respondents lack understanding and interpretation skills as they require a brief explanation of the research problem. Finally, the online research requires maximum technological compliance to integrate vital elements and concepts to the questionnaires to be posted to relevant social media platforms.

E. Conclusion and Recommendations of the Research Study

The substantial aspect that institutions and organizations look into is how to improve productivity among their members. We identified how fatigue and emotional attitude towards a particular task influence productivity during our online research. Therefore, the research project shed light on these important concepts while determining how taking breaks improves the performance of a particular task. The respondents for this online research are college students from Humber College. The institution offers its learners relevant knowledge and skills demanded in varied workplaces. Based on the responses from online survey questionnaires posted, we identified that students across varied faculties participate in activities that demand maximum attention and commitment to guarantee better performances. For instance, biotechnology students engage in stem cell research and DNA profiling.

Consequently, we recommend that educators and institutional leaders develop strategies to enhance taking breaks as a recovery measure to improve their learners’ abilities and output in varied tasks within their program activities. Based on our findings, taking breaks improves students’ performance, allowing recovery from stressful tasks and fatigue. For instance, students who spend most of their time in computers handling intensive projects and research need to relax at a particular point to discourage stress and monotony resulting from that particular activity. In addition, educators need to explain to their learners how engaging in an activity for long hours can lead to mental and cardiovascular health issues despite demonstrating low performances in those activities.

Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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