Quality Promotion Office

Students in Quality Reviews

As you start your university learning journey at DCU, we recognise that getting settled into your programme means adapting and adjusting to a completely new way of working and learning. 

To help monitor your own progress, and to support the University in understanding how new students are adapting to DCU, we have developed an app-based survey specifically designed to keep in touch with all new first year students for the duration of semester one. 

The study is called ‘First year Check-in at DCU’ and invites you to take part in a weekly short survey, which takes less than 2 minutes to complete.  The survey asks questions about how you are settling into your studies at DCU in three ways,

  1. Belongingness: the degree to which you feel a sense of belongingness to the university and or programme of study.  
  2. Engagement: the ways in which you are engaging with your studies
  3. Self-Confidence: the degree of self-confidence you feel in your abilities to be successful in your studies

Information gathered from the survey will be used in two ways.    Firstly, you be able to monitor your own level of Belongingness, Engagement and Self-Confidence on the app, and monitor their progress throughout the semester.  These scores are confidential, and only visible to you. Secondly, the University will receive anonymised data from all those who participate.  Each week, we will use this information to help us to refine and target information on activities and resources that might help students adjust to university learning during the first semester.

How to get involved

Getting involved is easy, simply download the app by searching for AthenaCx  (here) in your app store.  Once downloaded, select “First-Year Check-in at DCU” from the list to participate.  The first stage of participation is the “on boarding survey” which asks some basic questions to help classify different student groups.

Once you have completed the first stage, you will begin to receive a prompt from the app every Monday to participate in a short survey, which should take less than two minutes to complete. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers- just answer the questions as honestly as possible.

Participation is voluntary, anonymous, and you can withdraw at any time. So check-in with us once a week, and we’ll check back in with you on ways to navigate your first semester.   

Students Engagement

Student Engagement is a key element of our enhancement framework and plays a pivotal role in developing a culture of inclusivity and diversity in our multi-campus university.  Fostering this type of culture will significantly enhance the potential for a partnership model of engagement which in turn will greatly improve transparency to the benefit of all stakeholders.    
There are many active initiatives to further strengthen and develop the level of effective engagement with our student body.  
    •  Institute / Student Partnership Programme – NSTEP 
    •   Student survey to help enhance the overall experience
 Student Partnership Programme (NSTEP) 

The National Student Engagement Programme (N-STEP) is a collaborative initiative under development by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Formally launched in April 2016 with 5 initial Institutions participants, the programme will continue to work to develop student capabilities and institutional capacity in order to enhance engagement at all levels across the higher education system.

In a partnership model, the programme aims to support institutions in developing processes and activities which support/facilitate the meaningful engagement of students.

DCU will join 23 other Institutions to participate in the second phase of the pilot programme for the academic year 2017/18.  The process, which is informed by the work of Sparqs (Students PARtnerships in Quality Scotland), has two primary objectives;

    • to develop and support the implementation of a student training programme;
    • to build institutional capacity to provide high quality opportunities for learners to engage.

The aim is to;

    • develop student capabilities to engage in quality assurance and quality enhancement with higher education institutions;
    • support institutions in facilitating meaningful engagement with students;
    • strengthen the value of student engagement;
    • develop and implement tools and resources to build effective engagement practice; and
    • systematically improve student engagement across all higher education institutions.

For further information or to discuss any aspect of this initiative please contact the DCU Co-ordinator, Celine Heffernan directly (celine.heffernan@dcu.ie).

Membership Composition Link

 Student Feedback through Student Surveys 

At DCU we strive to deliver the highest possible standards to ensure the most memorable experience for our student body from both within and outside the lecture hall.  Through a variety of internal and external surveys which have been developed to increase transparency in relation to the level of student engagement, we are in the optimal position to truly understand the important aspects of student life whilst identifying the challenges affecting the overall student experience. 

Irish Student Survey of Engagement (ISSE)

The Irish Student Survey of Engagement (ISSE) is a National survey which is disseminated to first and final year students across the higher education sector on an annual basis.  Each educational institution is invited to select a three-week period during February and March of semester II. The impact of this particular survey, on a National stage has opened the door for students to become more involved in the decision making process within their respective institutions. 

For further information on this survey, please visit www.studentsurvey.ie.

We have put together a DCU Student Survey Calendar which demonstrates the breath of student engagements. To view the calendar please click on the link here Survey Calendar.