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 2019 and 2020 SATLE funding has led to the introduction of Learning Enhancement Projects (LEPs) – Small Scale for Sustainability. In 2019, an allocation of funding was ring-fenced for specific areas providing student supports to address the feedback received from students when responding to the free-text question about what the institute could do better. In addition, a cross-faculty project was funded to explore the use of digital technologies when analysing data. Phase two of these initiatives was funded in 2020.

What did the institution do to respond to this feedback?

LEPs involved team members who have not been involved in projects previously. Criteria for selection included: an outline of how the project addressed an action identified from the AIT 2018-2019 StudentSurvey.ie report, and required engagement of students as partners in the project. The following projects were funded:

  • Academic Writing Centre (AWC) – developing an asynchronous student writing course titled “Write Right” aimed at postgraduate students.
  • Library – Open Education Resources (OER) leading to the development of a data base of discipline specific OER.
  • The Department of Learning and Teaching in collaboration with Management Information Services (MIS) – StudentSurvey.ie: examining the potential of the digital tools, Power BI and NVIVO to examine the theme of Assessment AS, OF and For Learning.

What was the impact of the response?

The timing of the roll out of the LEPs coincided with Covid19 and the closure of the HEs. The Library and AWC LEPs contributed to the response of TUS: Midlands to emergency remote learning with the provision of online resources designed and collated for use by staff and students. The development of the initial writing course has in turn led further to the development of a full suite of asynchronous courses to support students with developing excellence in academic writing at different stages of their learning journey.

In addition, the Strategic Use of Assessment for Success (SUAS) is the second phase of the investigation of the use of Power BI and NVIVO for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, involving our colleagues from TUS: Midwest and funded in 2020. This capacity building will lead to the development of a consistent and sustainable approach being devised for the analysis and reporting of data, in order to identify areas of excellent practice. It will also inform continuous improvement, focusing on assessment approaches across the new university.