1 Assignment MN1105 Written report (1500 words), counting for 70% of the overall course mark Deadline: Week 11 (10th December 2020). This project requires you to use knowledge acquired through the course of MN1105 to recommend decisions to organizational managers. Please read and follow the instructions carefully. And avoiding copying and pasting too much of the content of this brief, you could be penalized! Also, pay special attention to the topics of cognitive biases (week one of your MN1105 course), data presentation (week 4), linear equations (week 4), exponential growth (week 4) and correlation/regression (week 8). And to working in Microsoft Excel for data analysis. Because of this and although the deadline for submission is the last week of term, the suggestion is to start your assignment as soon as possible. Read through, understand what is required, use the course material, what you learn in face-to-face and online sessions and be prepared to go over your work a few times. Tip: Gaining confidence and learning requires iteration (and often not going too much to the pub, binge video or social media consumption, etc.). Start small, build on it, continue. If in doubt, ask your tutors, but make sure that you are not just putting on our shoulders your responsibility to succeed. So here it goes…2 Background and research context Among other precaution measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, the strong encouragement to wear a face covering is considered as very important, especially inside small rooms with weak ventilation. Combined with the suggestion to maintain a one or two-meter social distancing whenever possible, is considered as one of the key preventive measures one can follow. When it comes to primary schools, challenges increase. Countries are learning from each other. The number of students required to sit in a classroom, the number of classrooms available for timetabling, as well as young student’s nature pose constraints not easy to overcome or manage. In countries like the UK, it could be said that primary school authorities are facing the dilemma, whether they will ask young children to formally wear masks in corridors, common areas and classrooms or not. In addition, if the decision is positive, many schools need to know whether a local face covering supplier or provider will be able to cope with the demand if face coverings are made compulsory for children aged 7-11. School officials could be aware of statistics publicly available by researchers and universities, many of which claim that evidence exists to support that the assertion that increased usage of a face covering (i.e. face masks) is positively associated to reduction of registered coronavirus cases in children of the above age in the school vicinities. Before they reach a decision though, some officials wish to perform some additional research in collaboration with a local university in Egham, Surrey. They want to study whether children wearing face masks shows some significant association to reduction of cases. The study is complex as many factors influence the fluctuation in the number of cases, however it was decided that a limited study focusing on school students aged as above and in the Egham vicinity could provide some insights towards an informed decision. School officials are aware that a possible cognitive bias that challenges their decision is that of seeing children wearing masks. The study Working at a national scale demands a thorough and costly research setting and influencing factors cannot be easily identified and eliminated. It was decided by school officials thus to focus on a smaller scale. The rationale for this is that primary school students attend schools located at their district so the impact of face covering usage and case numbers at a district could provide more reasonable results. A list of all primary schools in England was initially obtained. A two-stage clustering approach was followed for sampling (i.e. selection of schools to participate). From an initial national list of 150 schools, 1 cluster was randomly selected (to focus in Egham), and next 10 schools were randomly selected from the specific cluster. 3 For the ten (10) schools selected, a period of five weeks was set, and a number of students was selected randomly to wear face masks for a day, starting from 0 and increased by a step of 20 each day (i.e. 0, 20, 40,…, 460, 480). Luckily there was enough face mask stocks in the vicinity, and the officials had money to purchase and donate these masks to students for the period of the study. In parallel, the number of new COVID-19 cases per day among children aged 7-11 at the vicinity was collected from reports at the national level. With the number of masks being worn every day and the new COVID-19 cases, a dataset was made available in Microsoft Excel and donated to the MN1105 students of this year. You are lucky! The dataset has the following format: Day (working days excluding weekends) Face covering students New cases among children aged 7-11 in the Egham Vicinity (from testing) 15 120 3004 OK, data is collected, but what about supply of face coverings? School officials have also approached a local provider of masks to make sure that students will have enough masks stock to buy in case they need to buy to comply with compulsory use policy. The provider, a company owned by a former Royal Holloway student who became entrepreneur during the pandemic, is happy to supply extra masks for the compulsory wearing at schools, but she needs to know how many masks would make it worthwhile to invest in a new sewing machine to recover the investment costs in three months (3) of buying the machine, advertising and other costs she has to incur. Therefore, she has suggested to school officials to work out a break-even point and has given two linear equations to 1. Calculate the amount gained in a three-month period through new mask sales and 2. the costs involved with indicative production cost for each mask of GBP £ 0.06 plus initial investment/advertising/advertising costs. To calculate the above, please use the following: a) Sales of new masks (in pounds) = £5 (price of each daily disposable mask) * (number of masks being sold per month). b) Costs of new masks (in pounds) = £3000 (cost of new sewing machine) + £0.06 (producing each daily disposable mask) * (number of masks being produced per month) + £500 (cost of advertising and transporting for three months).5 Your task – calculate, infer and present findings. You are to produce a report that helps the school’s managers make an informed decision. The report needs to have the following sections with approximate word count in each: a) Title (an appealing title) (50 words) b) Executive summary: A brief statement about what you did, the recommendations for school officials and the masks suppliers (150 words). c) Some initial evidence about the impact(s) of masks in primary schools. Here you need to collate information from different research journal articles and provide two (2) different graphic charts of your selection. Using appropriate data representation forms, you would need to show an initial (not yet fully tested by you) correlation between mask use and new cases of infection being registered: one that avoids a cognitive bias (you can choose which bias you want to avoid). Narrative plus charts: 200 words. d) Present descriptive statistic measures of central tendency from the data set provided in MS Excel (150 words). e) Description of how you performed a correlation test using MS Excel (main steps, 100 words) f) Main findings of the above test (100 words) g) So what? Based on your evidence (findings), will compulsory wearing of masks help reduce new infection cases? (200 words) h) Calculation of break-even point for mask production/sale in the vicinity. Can a break-even point be achieved in a period of three months by selling less than 200 masks per month? (200 words). i) References: Here you need to add relevant links to sources of information, including textbooks or journal articles, website articles, etc. These will NOT count in the assignment length but should not exceed 200 words. Please use Harvard Referencing Style Stretcher – bonus exercise (10 extra marks) You could use your knowledge of profit and MS Excel to indicate when the local mask provider will achieve a profit of around £10.000. You could assume linearity or non-linearity when calculating profit.
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