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Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 967-986;

Analysis of Benefits to Young Rail Enthusiasts of Participating in Extracurricular Academic Activities

NewRail Newcastle Centre for Railway Research, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
Astley Community High School, Elsdon Avenue, Seaton NE25 0BP, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Janene Piip
Received: 4 August 2015 / Revised: 23 September 2015 / Accepted: 28 September 2015 / Published: 5 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership, Learning and History in the Rail Industry)
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The paper examines a number of positive academic outcomes achieved by university students who, as young rail enthusiasts representing over 10 European institutions, took part in extracurricular rail-related academic activities. Analyses presented in the paper are based on the evaluation of the responses to the questionnaire distributed amongst participants of three consecutive editions of an intensive program in rail and logistics which took place in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Also, quotes from follow-up one-to-one interviews with participants are used to support the results presented. The sample for each year varies in terms of numbers, nationalities, academic backgrounds, and male:female ratio. Academic benefits are specifically looked into, which includes teaching and learning activities throughout the three weeks of the program. The analysis of results revealed that young rail enthusiasts who participated in the program benefited from lectures delivered in Week 1, especially those focused on multimodal transport and rail infrastructure in 2013, which received positive mean ratings of 4.45 and 4.53, respectively, on a five-point Likert scale. Moreover, academic benefits were strongly supported by non-technical skills improvements in areas such as English language and communication, both reaching the mean ratings of 4.35 or above in 2014. A number of recommendations for improvements of next editions of similar rail-related programs as well as areas for future research are identified in the paper View Full-Text
Keywords: academic activities; rail curriculum; intensive program; evaluation; benefits academic activities; rail curriculum; intensive program; evaluation; benefits

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Fraszczyk, A.; Dungworth, J.; Marinov, M. Analysis of Benefits to Young Rail Enthusiasts of Participating in Extracurricular Academic Activities. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 967-986.

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