At yesterday’s QQI briefing held at NCI, the first presentation by Peter Cullen (Head of Validation and Delegation, QQI) centred on the evaluation and review of programmes in the context of the new validation policies and criteria. This ‘whistle-stop tour’ allowed colleagues to get a better sense of what is need in terms of (1) new programme validation and (2) review and revalidation.
In turn, entitled ‘Re-Engagement / QA Approval’, the second presentation by Walter Balfe (Head, Provider Approval Unit, QQI) explored the roadmap which will need to be followed in support of the re-engagement that QQI is now piloting, a process which will, if successful, lead to the subsequent publication of approved quality assurance procedures.
Attended by over 50 delegates from a range of independent/private providers, this briefing brought people up to speed with two significant quality assurance developments in the sector, as well as offering an ideal opportunity to network and meet with colleagues.
It is three weeks to the day since the ‘Enhancing Feedback in First Year – Y1Feedback Symposium’ was held at Maynooth University on 31 January 2017, but many of the ideas discussed and suggestions made in that forum continue to resonate.
As one of the speakers remarked, we are essentially only limited by our imaginations when it comes to the possibilities inherent in providing feedback to our students. But, as another of the keynotes – Dr Naomi Winstone (University of Surrey) – pointed out, we (i.e. educators and students alike) all have responsibilities when it comes to feedback.
Yesterday’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee (LTA) meeting offered an ideal opportunity to consider NCI’s participation in ISSE 2017 thus far, and to think through some further ideas in support of this year’s processes.
The one page isse-2017-update-for-lta report tabled yesterday at LTA argues that NCI has made a good start, but that a bit more work is required to get us through the first major participation hurdle of 1 in 5 students responding. In turn, last year’s national response rate of just over 22% constitutes the next significant target thereafter.
To support the efforts to encourage learner participation, a set of PowerPoint slides – isse-2017-powerpoint-slides – have been made available to NCI staff to share with our students during the last full week of ISSE 2017. Our participation in the survey is set to close on Tuesday, February 28th, so there is not long to go.
With our response rate creeping up this morning past 17%, almost 500 NCI students have now taken part, thereby constituting the highest total number of college respondents in the four years that we have been taking part in this student survey. One last push is needed to really make the responses received as representative as they might be!
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.
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!
The National Student Engagement Programme is a collaborative initiative which aims to develop student capabilities and institutional capacity to enhance engagement at all levels across the higher education system.