Student Quality Review participants

Role and Recruitment of Student Reviewers for Quality Reviews 

The Student Reviewer role will have a range of expectations and responsibilities, in line with those shared with other PRG members,

  • make a commitment to review documentation and provide initial comment(s) ahead of the review visit for other panel members to consider;
  • engage with members of the review team in the lead up to and throughout the site visit, where required;
  • engage with staff and student stakeholders throughout the review visit;
  • contribute to the development of the report and identify commendations and recommendations for quality improvements.

Identification and Selection of Student Reviewers at DCU

The Quality Promotion Office (QPO) shall develop, maintain and update a list of potential reviewers, following the submission of an expression of interest by students. The process for identifying and recruiting potential student reviewers shall commence through an invitation to eligible students involved in Class Rep Council (CRC), Board/Committee Membership, and Club & Social Life Committee.   This process will complete following close consultation between the Office of Student Life (OSL) and DCUSU to identify a selection of suitable candidates for development and training. 

Student Reviewer Criteria

Students who are interesting in becoming a Student Reviewer will meet the following criteria; 

  • are in Year 3 of an undergraduate programme, or a postgraduate student, or a recent graduate (no more than 2 years since completion of award)
  • will have participated, or will participate in either class-rep training, or national N-StEP student reviewer training
  • are willing to participate in DCU student reviewer training prior to the quality review visit

Honorarium/ Recognition of Participation

Students are considered an equal member of the panel who will contribute, in equal measures to the review visit and report writing.  They will receive an honorarium payment in line with external panel members and will be required to commit to up to 4 days to complete the process, in addition to preparation and write-up time. 

Principles for the involvement of students in DCU Quality Review visit.

Students are invited to participate in our quality review visit to ensure that the review covers issues of primary concern to learners. The external panel of experts includes individuals who represents a learner perspective. The QPO would encourage Students to participate in the key stages of reviews as the role played by students is inevitably important to us and that the expertise of students is heavily utilised.

What is the purpose?

Our Quality Review process unites Faculties, Schools, Students and the Professional Support areas in a drive to continuously to enhance the quality of DCU and the educational experience of all its students.  The QPO seek to promote the active participation of students in university quality assurance policies and to help establish a participative culture in Quality at DCU.

Where to start?

If you are interested in participating in a Quality Review Visit, we would encourage you to first contact the Quality Promotion Office.  No experience is required.

What is involved in a Student Representative role:

Students are invited to meet with the Review Group during their site visit and to comment on all aspects of their student and learning experience. This may involve commenting on the curriculum, accessibility of staff, teaching and assessment methods etc. Generally the Review Group will meet with representatives from various stages of undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Meetings are generally 45 minutes in length and the focus of the discussion typically covers all aspects of the students’ experience of studying at DCU. A briefing document will be provided to students before the review visit by the QPO.  Following the review visit Students have an opportunity to view the findings of the Review Group Report and Quality Improvement Plan following publication on the QPO Webpage.

Why become a Student Representative;

  1. You will be representing your fellow students and researchers and making a real difference to their experience.
  2. Our students need a variety of voices and views to represent them so why not be part of making things better.
  3. You will gain skills that will assist in your personal development and help improve your employability.
  4. Taking on a role of responsibility during your studies shows you’re prepared to go the extra mile.

DCU Quality Review Process in 4 stages;

1)     A period of self-assessment, involving all staff within an Area under review, which aims to critically assess the activities of the Area.  The outputs of this self-reflection are summarised in the development of a Self-Assessment Report (SAR), which forms the basis of the evaluation of the Peer Review Group.

2)     A visit by an externally led Peer Review Group (PRG), to verify and evaluate the SAR, and meet with staff, students, and other stakeholders to discuss key issues identified.  The visit is followed by the completion a PRG Report, which summaries the Group’s findings and makes commendations and recommendations for future quality enhancement within the Area under review.

3)     The development of Area led Quality Improvement Plan (QuIP) in light of the PRG recommendations.  This involves both an Area, and University level response to the PRG recommendations.  The QuIP is discussed and agreed at a follow-up meeting, attended by at least one external member of the PRG

4)     The consideration of the PRG Report and QuIP by University Executive and Governing Authority ahead of publication on the DCU website

DCU values the importance of ensuring the student voice is heard and the benefits of working in tandem to address issues or concerns raised in an effective and efficient manner.  With strong working relationships currently in place with the DCUSU Executive Team and the Office for Student Life (OSL), DCU is keen to progress these relationships through this Partnership Framework, which details a number of clear working streams to focus our efforts. DCU recognises the importance of student representation, which is evident by already strong membership on university decision-making structures, and remains committed to supporting the advancement of student readiness for participation in these structures through the delivery of appropriate and effective training for all student representatives. 

The DCU Student Partnership Framework identifies three streams of activity under University-Student partnership: student representation, feedback and dialogue, and opportunities for staff-student activities.  Our approach to implementing initiatives under each of these streams will be informed by the values of the Framework, and is underpinned by an acknowledgement that both staff and students will require support in creating positive impact across all streams.

The Framework is aligned to the broader NStEP domains of effective student engagement, this framework will pave the way to advance student participation in

1) Governance and Management
2) Student Experience
3) Quality Assurance and Enhancement

Programme Development and Review

The Framework recognises the value of student representation in academic processes through which the University develops and delivers its programmes.  This includes ensuring student representation on committees tasked with decision-making on new programme development, programmatic review, and curriculum reform.  The Framework acknowledges the important role played by both Associate Deans for Teaching and Learning and student Faculty Convenors in developing strong working relationships for effective representation in these activities.  The Framework also considers the important role played by elected class representatives on programme boards.

Student Representatives on Quality Review Panels

As part of the implementation of the Framework, the University shall develop procedures to enable the participation of student representatives as members of Peer Review Groups as part of cyclical quality reviews.  Alongside national and international peer reviewers, student reviewers shall participate as full members of Peer Review Groups for all DCU quality reviews of academic and professional support areas.  The Framework shall be supplemented by the development of procedures by DCU Quality Promotion Committee on student reviewer eligibility, training and support for student reviewers to full take part in DCU internal reviews.