What difference has StudentSurvey.ie made in your institution?

Since 2013, over 300,000 first and final year undergrads and taught postgrads have used StudentSurvey.ie to share their thoughts and feedback with their higher education institution. But in that time what difference has StudentSurvey.ie made in your institution? How have the results been used to enhance the student experience across the 25 higher education institutions that take part?

We are asking staff and student representatives to reflect upon 9 years of StudentSurvey.ie and how this major national survey has made an impact in your institution.

What was the result that triggered a response from the institution?

In reviewing the responses to the StudentSurvey.ie, it was noted that the students had comments based on access to academic supports and specialised laboratory and lecture halls.

  1. Specifically students wanted access to more maths support and to help with academic writing.
  2. Also access to Blackboard was limited and they wanted more interaction with the VLE.
  3. Access to specialised computing labs was limited to class time and this was identified as ‘not enough’.

What did the institution do to respond to this feedback?

1. In relation to the access to specific academic supports, the Teaching and Learning Centre was set up, in addition to the Academic Witing Centre where students can book individual and group sessions. An online one to one Maths Support service has been set up and all students can book sessions through the TLC Student Hub.

2. In order to provide more support to students in accessing the VLE, a mobile version was made available. This has proved very successful.

3. Extra classrooms with specialised equipment came onstream with the opening of the Haughton Building in 2015. This provided some third year and final year students with ‘home’ rooms where they have full individual stations with extended access hours for the academic year.  An audit of the supports in laboratory facilities was carried out and this resulted in supervised access being provided where identified.

What was the impact of the response?

These interventions have had a very positive impact on the student experience.

  1. The Academic Writing and Maths Support Centres continue to book out quickly as students avail of these services.
  2.  The mobile access to Blackboard has expanded access to services and allows students to engage in their time and place. This has been particularly beneficial to part-time off-campus students, as it enhances their connection to the learning community.
  3. The expansion of the provision of laboratory spaces and classrooms has had several beneficial effects. In terms of the ‘home’ room, this has increased the shared sense of belonging and collaboration between the students as they share this space. The enhanced access to laboratory spaces has enable more engagement with technology and again fostered a supportive environment for students.