Enhancing the Power of the Student Voice


Nicole O'Neill - DIT
John Atherton - Explorance

This presentation will outline the DIT strategy for enhancing student engagement. It will explain how the Institute is working in partnership with its Student’s Union: DITSU to identify barriers to student engagement and the approach being taken to address these barriers and enhance student engagement in Quality Enhancement.

In particular the presentation will discuss how through a process of extensive engagement with students and staff DIT identified the key deficiencies of the existing systems used for surveying students about their programmes and modules. These difficulties included a lack of visibility of the output from surveys, issues with students being identifiable, time lapse between students completing surveys and results being available to all appropriate staff, apathy of some staff towards the process which in turn discouraged students from engaging, survey fatigue, lack of management oversight due to difficulty accessing summarised data and an inconsistency of when and how surveys are sent to students.

The presentation will outline student and staff expectations of an effective student feedback system. The presentation will explain how the DIT by working with Blue from explorance is implementing a new software system to support the Institute’s student survey approach. The presentation will describe the key benefits of the new software system which include a more accessible survey format, population of survey data through the DIT Student Record System (Banner), quick turn-around of reports post-survey, the facility to centrally analyse module surveys, and the provision of a range of reports which will enable the unfettered student voice to be heard by both academic and management staff.

The presentation will explain the steps taken to date to implement the Blue Survey Tool and future plans for utilising the data that will be available to DIT from the system.