Testing the Provision of Animal Therapy for Students (P.A.T.S.) in the BUS 343 Networking Event

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipientCluny South, Beedie School of Business

Project teamShauna Jones, Beedie School of Business, research assistant(s) TBD

Timeframe: January 2020 to July 2021

Funding: $4,996

Course addressed: BUS 343 – Introduction to Marketing

Description: Therapy animals have historically been used across North American University campuses to provide wellness support, both chronically to address long-term stress and issues of well-being, and more acutely to reduce anxiety during the exam period (Binfet et al., 2018)

This research seeks to investigate whether an interaction with a therapy animal prior to the BUS 343 networking event (which for many Beedie students is their first experience of networking) will improve their stress management and bolster confidence short-term, thereby resulting in an improved student learning experience and performance.

Questions addressed:

  • Are student state anxiety levels reduced following a therapy animal session?
  • Are student’s social confidence levels raised following a therapy animal session?
  • Do students in animal therapy condition report a more successful networking event overall?
  • Do industry professionals report higher levels of calm/at ease manner from students in animal therapy condition?
  • Do industry professionals report overall more relaxed students, compared to previous events? 
  • How did they rate the calmness of students awarded “calm/at ease” stickers compared to students not awarded these stickers.

Knowledge sharing: We will hold a presentation for SFU Health and Counselling, Beedie Lunch and Learn, and Beedie Student Learning Centre. There is also potential for an ISAZ Conference Presentation and Journal Submission to Anthrozoös Journal.