Writing
University of South Florida COVID 19 Pandemic Workplace Safety Memo

University of South Florida

Question Description

I’m studying for my Communications class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Research in the workplace solves a problem. Tasked with a problem in the workplace, you may be asked gather the information necessary to fully understand the issue at hand, solve that problem (or offer potential solutions), prove that your solutions are viable, and/or test your solution(s). Doing this work requires different types of research that go beyond simply querying a library database or using Google. You often will need to speak directly to target populations and audiences, and directly contact resources and experts in different professions and in the community. You also may need information in addition to or instead of scholarly resources. Local and national journalism may add context and perspective. Professional experts, government agencies, state and local authorities all may be relevant sources, as are individuals in target populations. Essentially, research in the workplace requires you to think critically and creatively about

  • The type of information you need; and
  • The best way to get that information.

Your job as a researcher is to address, explain, and/or solve a problem using the most relevant and applicable methods and resources. If a resource can supply information you need, then it is the right resource for the job.

It’s also important when thinking about a problem your researching to keep in mind that you probably aren’t the first person or organization to deal with this issue. Look at other organizations, groups, or communities negotiating the same or similar issue. Research how those groups describe and deal with the problem. The perspective of experience is invaluable to your work.

Assignment

This project asks you to do workplace research into a local problem impacting USF or the surrounding community. Your goal for this project is to describe the problem in detail using as much information as you can gather from as many different sources as are useful. That means you are looking at research gathered by others (e.g., government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional and academic experts), but also you will gather your own data by contacting experts and asking impacted population for their perspective. You will produce a memo that reports your findings, giving readers a robust understanding of the problem you have researched.

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Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Engage with a problem-based scenario similar to those found in the workplace
  • Develop research skills appropriate for addressing a specific problem
  • Integrate research into a project deliverable
  • Develop professional and technical writing and editing skills
  • Practice writing for a specific purpose and audience
  • Produce a specific genre of professional discourse (informational report)

To complete this project, you will choose a local problem occurring at USF or in the community. You can select a problem from the list below, or pick your own problem of a similar nature.

  • What is the optimal register layout for Starbuck’s at USF to reduce lines and wait time?
  • What is the optimal speed limit for roads on the USF Tampa campus to reduce accidents and delays?
  • How much demand is there for electric car charging stations at USF campuses? If there are not enough charging stations, where should we put new ones? If there are too many, what is the best response?
  • What is the best way to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 at USF? Is the university already taking sufficient steps to protect students?
  • How could online services at USF be improved? (Canvas? USFWrites? Class registration?)

Once you have selected a problem, you will research the problem, to include the following topics:

  • Background information: Put the problem in context. What does the audience need to know to understand why the problem is a problem?
  • Explanation of the problem: Describe the problem in detail. What is happening?
  • Causes of the problem: Describe the factors contributing to the problem’s occurrence. Why is the problem happening?
  • Impacted Population: Describe the people most directly impacted by the problem. Who is the problem happening to?

To conduct your research you may wish to use any of the following methods and resources, or anything else that helps you explain the scope of your problem:

  • Newspapers (local, university, national)
  • Reports from government agencies, universities, and/or NGOs
  • Scholarly research
  • Facts and statistics compiled by government agencies and/or NGOs
  • Interviews with experts and/or impacted individuals
  • Surveys (social media makes doing surveys easy)

Deliverables

Major Deliverable

  • A report in memo format that describes your problem in detail using all the research you have conducted. The memo should have the following section headings:
    • Background Information
    • Explanation of the Problem
    • Causes of the Problem
    • Impacted Population
    • Works Cited

Supplemental Deliverables

  • Research Plan: A memo that identifies the problem you have selected and your plans for researching it, including research methods and potential sources for each required topic listed above.
  • Research Progress Report: An update that describes a) the research you’ve done to date; b) which topics that research applies to; c) what you have left to do before completing a draft
  • Survey memo report including
    • Goal of questionnaire
    • Target audiences
    • How survey was conducted
      • Online?
      • In person? If so, where?
    • Short discussion of potential problems of bias or sample size
    • Copy of questionnaire
    • Response data

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Project 3 RESEARCH SUMMARY Main goal of the assignment: learning how to conduct workplace research • What sorts of information is relevant? • What sorts of information is appropriate? Overview • How do you get it? In this project, you’ll conduct workplace research in the context of researching a local, real-world problem Local • Relevant to USF or Overview • Relevant to the Tampa Area Real-world • Must be a concrete problem that affects real people • A problem that you could potentially find a solution for Goal: Describe the problem in detail using as much information as you can gather from as many different sources as are useful. • You will look at research gathered by others, including • government agencies • non-profit organizations • professional and academic experts Overview • You will also gather your own data by • contacting experts and • asking impacted population for their perspective. With this data and research, you will produce a memo that reports your findings, giving readers a robust understanding of the problem you have researched. Main Deliverable First Draft Due Sun, Mar 29 Final Draft Due Sun, Apr 5 A report in memo format that describes your problem in detail using all the research you have conducted. The memo should have the following sections Background Information ◦ Put the problem in context. What does the audience need to know to understand why the problem is a problem? Explanation of the Problem ◦ Describe the problem in detail. What is happening? Causes of the Problem ◦ Describe the factors contributing to the problem’s occurrence. Why is the problem happening? Impacted Population ◦ Describe the people most directly impacted by the problem. Who is the problem happening to? Works Cited Supplemental Deliverables Research Plan: Due Tuesday, March 24 (in class) Supplemental Deliverables A memo that identifies the problem you have selected and your plans for researching it, including research methods and potential sources for each required topic listed above. Draft Questionnaire: Due Tuesday, March 24 (in class) Survey Report: Due Tuesday, Sun, March 29 Project 4: Collaborative Report In project 4 (the project after this one), you’ll work collaboratively in small groups in order to produce a recommendation report ◦ recommends a solution to some problem that you’ve identified. • You’ll be free to choose a topic for Project 4 that one (or more) of your group members worked on for Project 3 Context • You can think of Project 3 as a lead-in to Project 4 BUT • The Research Summary is not collaborative • Even if you are working on the same topic, I want you to gather data and write your research summaries independently • This will make it more useful to you if you end up working together on Project 4 What is the optimal register layout for Starbuck’s at USF to reduce lines and wait time? What is the optimal speed limit for roads on the USF Tampa campus to reduce accidents and delays? Example Topics Which brand of battery will best serve the needs of USF’s Digital Media Commons for their equipment that takes video/photographs underwater? Which internet browser performs the most efficiently for an organization with tens of thousands of users (such as USF)? What is the best way to start building and promoting electric car charging stations at USF campuses? Sources for Research Some obvious sources … ✓ Scholarly journals ✓ Reports from government agencies, universities, NGOs ✓ Facts/statistics compiled by government agencies & NGOs Sources for Research And less academic ones ✓ Newspapers (University, Local, National) ✓ Interviews with experts ✓ Interviews with impacted populations ✓ Surveys Sources for Research What else? • Consider any source of data that might give you some insight into the problem you are working on Example: Crime on Campus • University publication https://www.usf.edu/administrative-services/universitypolice/documents/finalasr2019c.pdf Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Local Newspaper (Tampa Bay Times) https://www.tampabay.com/florida/2019/04/17/usfstampa-campus-is-the-least-safe-in-florida-study-says/ Twitter feed @usfcrimereport Informational Website Center for Victim Advocacy https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/victimadvocacy/types-of-crimes/index.aspx Informational Website USF Safe App https://www.usf.edu/administrative -services/university-police/yoursafety/usf-safe-app.aspx Local Newspaper Story Tampa Bay Times Link here College Newspaper Story The Oracle Link here Report from Website w/ College Statistics College Factual Link here Crime map LexisNexis Community Crime Map Link here Reddit thread Reddit thread on safety near campus Link here Example: Crime on Campus • Which of these would be useful for • Providing general background on the problem? • Establishing details about the problem itself? • Providing information on the causes of the problem? • Providing information about impacted populations? Example: Crime on Campus • Which of these provide information that you can most clearly trust to be unbiased and factual? • Which of these provide a personalized (and so necessarily biased) perspective? • Any grey areas? To read Ch. 22: Workplace Research The Basics: Ch. 2 of “Just Enough Research” by Erika Hall Investigating impacted populations with surveys Constructing well-designed surveys Based on Designing an Effective Survey, by Mark Kasunic, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute 2 ways of investigating impacted populations In-depth Interviews  Open-ended discussions with members of the population Surveys  Structured questions that present different members of the population with the same experience 2 ways of investigating impacted populations Focus here is on surveys, though you are very welcome to use interviews instead (or in addition to) surveys. o In-depth interviews are especially useful at the exploratory phase, when trying to figure out what you should ask in your survey. What is a survey? A process for obtaining generalized information about a population from a limited sample. how they feel (information about attitudes/emotions) what they think is true (information about knowledge/beliefs) what they do / how they act (information about behavior) Survey vs. Questionnaire Questionnaire: A set of questions designed to elicit information from a target audience about some topic Survey: The process of  Identifying a research question (establishing purpose)  Identifying your target audience  Establishing a rigorous method of data collection  Designing an audience-specific questionnaire that provides information relevant to your research question  Analyzing and presenting your results 7 Step Process 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Identify research objectives Characterize target audience Write questionnaire Design sampling plan (unbiased, large enough) Pilot test questionnaire Distribute questionnaire Analyze results 7 Step Process 4. Design and write questionnaire 5. Pilot test questionnaire Post-pilot reflection Audience-based reflection  Are the questions easy to understand?  Do they assume an appropriate level of audience knowledge?  Are the questions vague, ambiguous, or otherwise easy to misinterpret? Researcher-based reflection  Will the responses produced lead to a straightforward quantitative analysis?  Are the responses generated actually helping you to better understand your research topic? Interlude: Getting a good sample Interlude: Getting a good sample A good sample is  Unbiased  Sufficiently large Unbiased samples An unbiased sample means that any member of the population is equally likely to be included in the sample Sufficiently large samples You need a large sample in order to guarantee  the precision of your results  the confidence you can have in your results Precision Measure of how close an estimate is to the actual characteristic of the population Confidence interval How confident you can be that your sample will generate a result within the desired precision? How large does your sample need to be? Take statistics. Or consult the chart on the next page. How large does your sample need to be? Confidence level of 95% Implications What’s the enrollment at USF?  About 50,000 Do you need to survey 1,000 people?  No! We don’t have time for that.  But do understand the limits of your results Presenting Survey Data As you present your survey data, do note problems with sample size and/or bias in sampling. These are unavoidable for this project, but we can at least acknowledge them. Designing the Questionnaire Designing the Questionnaire 1. Identify internal questions What questions you need answers to? 2. Translate to external questions Questions that your audience can easily understand Questions whose responses can be readily quantified Questions that your audience is comfortable answering Question topics Survey questions typically ask about  Attributes  Attitudes  Beliefs  Behaviors Question topics Survey questions typically ask about  Attributes Demographic properties of the respondent Age, Years at USF, Major, Race, Ethnicity, Sex/Gender, etc. Designed to see if there are sub-patterns in demographic subgroups of the population Question topics Survey questions typically ask about  Attitudes How people feel about different issues Are they impacted? How significantly? What solutions are they excited about? Question topics Survey questions typically ask about  Beliefs What does your audience believe about the problem? What do they think is causing it? Do they think change is possible? Question topics Survey questions typically ask about  Behaviors Does your audience do things to cause the problem? Does your audience do things in response to the problem? Question formats Open-ended: free response Close-ended: fixed-response Hybrid Answer formats Multiple choice Rating Scale (1-5, Strongly Agree-Strongly Disagree) Wording choices: some important considerations 1. Will the words be uniformly understood? 2. Are the questions too cryptic, vague, or precise? 3. Is the question biased? 4. Is the question objectionable? 5. Is the question too demanding? (Too hard/complex?) 6. Is it a compound question? 7. Are the answers mutually exclusive? Survey length Don’t make it too long! Numerous studies (e.g. Heberlein 1978) have found:  Each additional question can reduce response rate by 0.5%  Each additional page can reduce response rate by 5%  There is a significant decrease in response rate after 4 pages To boost response rate, just ask what you really need to know. Reporting results Report from a rating scale  Appropriate to report median response  Not appropriate to report mean  Can also report response counts or percentages of each response In-Class Situation: Suppose you were trying to get information on the reasons for low attendance in a college class.  What specifically do you want to know?  What questions can you ask to find this out? ...
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Final Answer

Attached.

Running Head: COVID-19

1

COVID- 19
Name
Institution affiliation
Date

COVID-19

2

COVID- 19
MEMORANDUM
To: All members of the University of South Florida
From:
Date:
Subject: The best way to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 at USF and the sufficiency of the
measures already taken by USF.
Background information
COVID-19 is defined as an infectious illness that is caused by a coronavirus that has been newly
discovered. When the virus infects a person, they experience moderate to mild respiratory
problems and recover without having to be administered any special treatment. The virus is
likely to develop into a severe illness to the aged and those who have medical conditions such as
diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and lung problems (World Health Organization.
2020). As of Sunday, 22, March 2020 in the mid-morning, the total number of people who have
been infected was 318,000. The total number of deaths globally was 13,600 people.
Infected cases in the United States increased to 27,004 in the afternoon, where the number of
deaths was 347. Around the globe, 94,700 people have recovered from diseases, where 176
people are from the United States. In Florida State, 830 people have tested positive of the disease
and 13 deaths (Center for disease control and prevention. 2020). One of the students have tested
positive of coronavirus and is being taken care of in the Florida health department and selfisolating. The student has not been in the school facility since the end of February. According to

COVID-19

3

an assessment done by the health department, there is no need for contact-tracing in the
University (University of Florida. 2020). Still, people are advised to take the necessary
precaution.
Explanation of the problem
Coronaviruses are defined as a group of viruses that causes illnesses like severe acute respiratory
syndrome, common cold, and Middle East respiratory syndrome. At the end of 2019, there was a
new coronavirus that was recognized as the cause of an outbreak of disease and came from China
(World Health Organization et al., 2020). Cases of COVID-19 have increased in many counties
around the globe. Signs and symptoms of the disease include cough, fever, breathing difficulties,
aches, sore throat, tiredness, and runny nose. The disease has significantly posed a severe public
health risk. All the 50 states have reported cases of the coronavirus, most claims being from
travelers coming to America, and the people they came into contact with and the other 27 cases
from the community-acquired from unknown sources.
The greatest danger with this virus is that it affects all people and have severe illness mostly in
older adults and people with health conditions; in other cases, it causes death (Layne, Hyman,
Morens, & Taubenberger, 2020). There are preventive measures that have been put in ...

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