University Student Survey Principles for Code of Practice

The establishment of the University Student Surveys Board is to assist in the definition of a Policy and Code of Practice for University-wide Student Surveys. The following outline policy statement and principles are suggested as the basis for a Code of Practice for Student Surveys.

 

Student Survey Policy Statement

Preamble

The University is committed to providing a distinctive educational experience to its learners based on disciplinary and pedagogic excellence, a research-based curriculum and a student-centred learning and teaching experience. Collecting information from students on their educational experience, using structured approaches, can facilitate understanding of students’ engagement patterns and inform internal dialogue and decision-making. 

Policy Statement

The University’s policy on student surveys is that the methods of institutional student feedback and local student feedback approaches are differentiated and equally important parts of the University’s framework overall for surveys.

The purpose of institutional-level surveys is to elicit information from the student population on perspectives or perceptions of universal relevance.   Local surveys at the level of Schools, programmes or individual staff seek information from students on specific aspects of their educational experience. 

The University Surveys Board will agree and coordinate all forms of internal and external University-wide surveying of the student population, the provision of reports and analyses arising and their dissemination to Schools and Colleges.

All Schools will have an appropriate and systematic framework in place, for gathering and responding to student feedback locally, and for confirming its effectiveness to the relevant College.

Principles

The University is committed to ensuring that at institutional and local level:

  • Student surveys contribute to the process of continuous improvement and are impactful in the development and enhancement of learning and teaching
  • The timing and sequencing of surveys, in particular those that are University-wide, should be managed so as to avoid survey fatigue and duplication of information
  • The outcomes from the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) are analysed and shared in order to improve wider understanding of student engagement patterns and identification of issues for further exploration
  • Opportunities for surveying staff perspectives on student engagement are designed to be complementary to ISSE and focus on enriching learning and teaching approaches
  • Any external requests to survey the University’s student population should be evaluated in light of the purposes of such surveys, the overall University schedule of surveys and the Code of Practice for Student Surveying
  • The design and implementation of surveys operate in accordance with the University’s ethical principles, and include formal mechanisms for governance of student to student surveying
  • Approaches to survey design and survey methods in use are accessible and inclusive for diverse cohorts of staff and students
  • The analysis and action planning arising from student surveys is communicated clearly to students and staff using a variety of touchpoints
  • Academic staff across the University shall have access to a suite of relevant resources, including case studies of good practice, question banks, template questionnaires and analytical reports to assist them in customising local surveying approaches in light of individual priorities, requirements for professional accreditation and quality assurance processes[1]

The Code of Practice and its underpinning principles should be subject to review and evaluation against prevailing practices nationally and internationally on a cycle of at least once every 5 years, and earlier if changes in institutional priorities or external policy so indicate.

[1] The inclusion of a Standardised Evaluation approach for the purposes of academic promotion will be informed by the academic promotions procedures when finalised.

University Student Surveys Board

Office of the Deputy President & Registrar,

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