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?

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement 2013 found that nationally, 67.4% of first-year undergraduates indicated that they either never or sometimes received timely written or oral feedback on academic performance. This figure increased to 68.2% in 2014. These findings provided the impetus for a multi-institute collaborative project on feedback in First Year.

What did the institution do to respond to this feedback?

Supporting Transition: Enhancing Feedback in First Year Using Digital Technologies or Y1Feedback, a project funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, involved undertaking research with first-year students and the academic staff who teach them across partner HEs, including TUS: Midlands (formerly Athlone Institute of Technology). A series of outputs included the publication of a literature review and a snapshot of current practices and perceptions of feedback. It also involved academic staff trialling the affordances of selected technologies for feedback, and the publication of case studies by those who participated. All resources are available from the project website: Y1Feedback

The project led to awareness-raising amongst staff and students, in particular through the use of the outputs during professional development activities.

What was the impact of the response?

Engagement in the Y1feedback project prompted the introduction of the Formative Assessment and Feedback module (15ECTS at level 9) on the already well-established flexible pathway to a postgraduate diploma in TUS: Midlands. Underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and through the use of authentic assessments, the module has had a transformative impact on practice which is not limited to first year modules and is across all faculties. Since 2015, 59 participants have successfully completed the module. In addition, Y1Feedback informed a subsequent, discipline-specific and multi-institute project - Technology Enhanced Assessment Methods in Science and Health (TEAM). This led to the development of further resources and dissemination of research outputs.