ISSE 2017 reaches the half-way point at NCI

ISSE 2017


Thanks once again to colleagues in our Marketing Team, we are able to bring people up-to-date with the progress being made here at NCI with regard to ISSE 2017.

Click on for the latest evidence that our learners are providing us with their feedback. As readers will see, NCI president Gina Quin, NCISU president Stephen Cleary and NCISU vice-president Sean McMahon were joined by a special guest at the official NCI photo shoot promoting ISSE 2017!

We’ll be able to access the data that our students are providing later this academic year, that is soon after the survey closes for all Irish HEIs.

Get involved. Have your say. Make a difference.

QA review

Calling on NCI students to get involved, have their say, and make a difference.

Get involved

We want to hear our students’ views on how best to offer feedback about the NCI experience.

We’re looking for volunteers who want to get actively involved in shaping policy on how and when we gather and use your feedback.

Have your say

We want to know how you want to tell us about the totality of your experience – in the classroom, about our services, regarding the support we offer.

You can participate in person or by contributing to our online discussion.

Make a difference

Get directly involved in NCI – its present, as well as its future.

When? Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 3-5pm. How? Register your interest on nci360.

ISSE 2017 – Week 1 of 3 is coming to a conclusion

ISSE 2017

ISSE 2017 runs for three weeks, with our institution’s version of the survey having opened on Monday, February 6th. In terms of NCI learner feedback received thus far, we’ve gotten off to a fairly decent start again this academic year with our response rate reaching 11% as of midday today; thus far, 300 NCI students have taken part in ISSE 2017!

This is obviously very encouraging, but our first – and perhaps biggest – target is to break through the 20% barrier, especially as response rates were one of the key issues picked up in our own institutional analysis of past ISSE data (see comparative participation rates, 2013-16 below).

Our learner feedback window has been extended slightly to Tuesday morning, February 28th, by i-graduate, the external firm running the survey on behalf of the thirty or so Irish HEIs which are participating. Thus, any encouragement that might be offered to our students who are taking part – i.e. first year undergraduate, final year undergraduate and postgraduate taught students – would be very welcome indeed.

We’re really keen for the feedback we receive to be as representative as possible and, while a 1 in 5 student ratio is not necessarily out of line with national response rates, it does mean that we are not hearing from as many of our own students as we might like. Do please remember that NCI’s own internal analysis based upon last year’s data can be found at irish-survey-of-student-engagement-2016-final-report.

NCI’s ISSE response rates

Opportunities and limits regarding the use of learner feedback data

Feedback from students

In order to support a conversation in the Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CRILT) Research Group regarding the use of learner feedback data, a set of PowerPoint slides were used earlier this afternoon (see below).

If the animated and informed interactions and discussions that these generated are anything to go by, there is a lot of potential in this area, as well as considerations that are due further thought.

Considering the opportunities and limits regarding the use of learner feedback data doesn’t necessarily feel like Pandora’s box, there may be rich seams of data – ‘jewels’ if you like – that are available for us to mine, to display and to wear lightly.

Sincere thanks to the CRILT Research Group for the invitation to present this lunchtime … let’s see where this conversation takes us!

Opportunities and limits
Opportunities and limits regarding the use of learner feedback data



ISSE 2017 – student survey update

ISSE 2017

All first year undergraduate, final year undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at NCI are being asked to complete the ISSE 2017 survey which can be accessed by clicking on or through (click on ‘take the survey’).

The company running the survey on behalf of all Irish universities, institutes of technology, and third level colleges is called i-graduate and they sent an individualized link, as well as more details regarding ISSE 2017, directly to our students’ email accounts yesterday morning.

As a thank you for NCI student participation, i-graduate is also coordinating a draw which will see a pair of tickets to the NCI Clubs & Societies Awards Ball on 6th April 2017 offered to one participant, as well as printer vouchers worth €10 each being given to twenty other students who take part in this survey.

Within the first 24 hours, the response rate for NCI is 5%-7%, figures that we will be looking to build upon across the three weeks in which this survey is running. Sincere thanks to all of those NCI students who have already participated. We’re listening, we’re learning.

ISSE banner
“We’re Listening, We’re Learning”

NStEP – National Student Engagement Programme


NCI and NCI Students’ Union (NCISU) are participating in a National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP) across 2016-17. Currently working alongside four other Irish HEIs (namely Cork Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, and Waterford Institute of Technology), a further dozen HEIs are due to join the project next academic year.

The NStEP programme is informed by the efforts of the ‘Working Group on Student Engagement in Irish Higher Education’, including Enhancing Student Engagement in Decision-Making and Embedding the Principles of Student Engagement which were published in April 2016. Within this context, student engagement is defined as the “investment of time, effort and other relevant resources by both students and their institutions intended to optimise the student experience and enhance the learning outcomes and development of students, and the performance and reputation of the institution”. (Trowler & Trowler, 2011)

The first two NStEP Working Group meetings involving all of the national participants were held in May and November 2016, with the next scheduled for April 2017, while the first two NCI-NCISU Institutional Implementation Group Meetings were held in June 2016 and January 2017 respectively. Facilitated by Eve Lewis (Director of sparqs) and Cat O’Driscoll (NStEP Programme Co-ordinator), NCI conducted its Strategic Analysis Workshop in November 2016, while NCISU hosted its first session as part of the National Student Training Programme in December 2016.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will use the QA&NCI blog to post further information regarding NStEP. For now, more details regarding this student engagement initiative are also available via the Higher Education AuthorityQuality and Qualifications Ireland, and Union of Students in Ireland websites.

National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP)