This page provides resources for data analysis such as:
- Tools to support analysis
- Instructional videos
- Good practice in the participating institutions
Quick guide to progress by the StudentSurvey.ie Analysis and Impact Group
The StudentSurvey.ie Analysis and Impact Group is developing resources to support institutions in analysing the results of StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie. As they are completed, resources will be added to this page, so check back regularly for more.
Kep scrolling to access the following resources:
- The StudentSurvey.ie Report Automation Tool and Guide
- The StudentSurvey.ie Trends Over Time Research 2016-2021
- The StudentSurvey.ie Report Templates and Guide
- The StudentSurvey.ie Discussion Paper on Evidencing Value through Impact
- The Good Practice for StudentSurvey.ie ACUnits guide
- StudentSurvey.ie User Guide - The In Touch Dashboard
- The five reports on the analysis of qualitative data generated by the free text response questions in StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie
The StudentSurvey.ie Analysis and Impact Group has also:
- Led sessions at the Practitioners Forum 2020 and Practitioners Forum 2022 (more here and further down this page)
- Developed a suite of workshops
- Developed a new landing page for the In Touch data visualization dashboard and many other enhancements to the In Touch dashboards (these are internal dashboards for each higher education institution and are not available publicly)
At present, the StudentSurvey.ie Analysis and Impact Group are working on:
- Encouraging the use of the tools developed so far
- Expanding the impact of the StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie results within the participating HEIs and nationally
- A complete redesign of the In Touch data visualization dashboard
- Engaging Heads of School and Programme Directors in workshops and other development opportunities
- Developing supports for the analysis of PGR StudentSurvey.ie data
If you know of any existing resources which you believe would be helpful for staff and Students Unions in analysing the data, or have identified a gap in your capacity to do the analysis which you believe the Project Manager function could fill, please contact email@example.com.
New members are always welcome to join the StudentSurvey.ie Analysis and Impact Group, please register your interest by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick access to tools to support analysis
StudentSurvey.ie Report Automation Tool and Guide
A commonly encountered issue for people working on StudentSurvey.ie data is that the analysis takes a lot of time, and often requires a level of expertise from those doing the analysis on how to interrogate the data and how to interpret the results.
The StudentSurvey.ie Report Automation Tool is therefore a revelation.
This tool has two main possibilities:
1. Report Automation Application 1
An immediately available RStudio script that can be used right now.
Find information on how to download R and RStudio and how to access this code HERE.
Find the R Shiny online application which can generate reports for you without even downloading R HERE.
The beauty of this code, written by Blaž Podobnik (MIC), is that you do not need any experience of R or RStudio whatsoever. You need only follow the short instructions above, and basically just hit go! This will automatically generate a report for you in about a minute, pulling from the Data File you get from i-graduate. You can manipulate the way the report is displayed and the groups included in the report without ever having to edit a single bit of code.
If you have some familiarity with R and RStudio, the code is available to you to edit, such as by editing the text in the report, adding your institutional logo, or displaying the results differently.
2. Report Automation Application 2
RStudio script which, combined with your organisational structure, can produce results for any programme, school, department or faculty
Find an example report HERE.
This code, written by Seán Lacey and Linda O'Sullivan (MTU), takes the functionality of report automation in R a step further. You will need:
a) Your institution's population data (the preload student demographic data you send to i-graduate in advance of fieldwork)
b) Your institution's Data File from i-graduate
c) An Excel file specific to your HEI which maps out the organisational structure of your HEI. You will need to create this.
Combined using the application designed in R, you can create a report for any programme, department, school, or faculty, including comparison data with any programme, department, school, or faculty for a whole range of results.
Contact email@example.com to register your interest in this functionality. The level of demand will inform the level of resource the project management function can offer to HEIs in adopting this methodology.
These two R and RStudio report automation methodologies combined mean that, with a little work to get the code set up correctly initially, you can re-create an infinite number of reports with minimal effort.
The StudentSurvey.ie Practitioners Forum 2022 included a workshop on report automation, facilitated by Dr Lydia Devenney, Teaching and Learning Postdoctoral Researcher, ATU. You can access the presentation she delivered here.
StudentSurvey.ie Trends Over Time Research 2016-2021
Over the last 6 years, 232,450 students have completed StudentSurvey.ie, each answering over 60 questions about their experiences of higher education. The StudentSurvey.ie Trends Over Time Research 2016-2021 website presents some of the data from 2016 to 2021 in an accessible and interactive format.
The StudentSurvey.ie Report Templates and Guide
The results of StudentSurvey.ie are used as a core quantitative and qualitative data set on the student experience, for use in internal and external quality assurance and improvement processes.
The StudentSurvey.ie Report Templates and Guide is designed for use by Programme Directors and Programme Coordinators to enhance your ability to access, analyse, report, and respond to the student voice in a timely and effective way. While this guide refers to, primarily, Programme Directors, it should also be used by any other postholders (including Heads of School) that are responsible for managing and monitoring programme quality.
The StudentSurvey.ie Practitioners Forum 2022 included a workshop on the StudentSurvey.ie Report Templates and Guide, facilitated by Dr Jing Burgi-Tian, Institutional Research and Analysis Officer, DCU. You can access the presentation she delivered here.
Each HEI has a specific Guide, a generic can be downloaded here
StudentSurvey.ie Discussion Paper on Evidencing Value through Impact
For StudentSurvey.ie, achieving impact is understood to mean identifying the value which has been added, and continues to be added, to the student experience by this data collection, analysis and the subsequent integration of results into policy and practice.
In other words, what real positive impacts has the survey had over its duration to date in terms of highlighting indicative areas which appear to be working well, areas for improvement and areas for further development. And in having this focus, what unexpected impacts have also taken place which have required or benefited from a strategic or procedural review and change.
Good Practice for StudentSurvey.ie ACUnits
ACUnits are variables in the student demographic data submission made by each participating institution to the survey company which delivers the survey platform and prepares the survey results. This is part of the usual preparation for StudentSurvey.ie fieldwork and this student demographic data submission is made no later than three weeks before commencement of fieldwork.
ACUnits allow institutions to apply multiple levels of organisational structure of their institution to the dataset, which facilitates easier analysis of the results and a deeper knowledge of the students who have responded to the survey.
StudentSurvey.ie User Guide - The In Touch Dashboard
This short guide will introduce you to the In Touch Dashboard, a Tableau-based data analysis and visualisation tool which will help you analyse the results of StudentSurvey.ie. It will provide information about how to access the Dashboard, what its capabilities are and how to use them.
Please note that a complete redesign of the In Touch dashboards is underway, and will be launched to coincide with the release of the StudentSurvey.ie 2023 results in May. A new StudentSurvey.ie User Guide - The In Touch Dashboard will be issued to accompany it. Read more about what is planned HERE.
The StudentSurvey.ie Practitioners Forum 2022 included a workshop on data visualisations, facilitated by Janice Lau, Senior Statistics Manager, HEA. You can access the presentation she delivered here.
Qualitative Data Analysis
The StudentSurvey.ie Steering Group funded five research bursaries in October 2020 to analyse the qualitative data generated by StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie. The aim of the bursary awards was to promote greater ownership and encourage wider use of the StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie data. Proposals for the analysis of the qualitative data were invited from members of the research community within the participating institutions, as well as commercial data analysis companies. The projects were completed in May 2021.
Each project is an independent project undertaken by qualified and experienced researchers on behalf of StudentSurvey.ie. Each project took a unique approach. The commonalities between all five projects are that they all utilised well-grounded methodologies, offer mechanisms for replication of the analysis in future years, and are innovative and authentic.
The StudentSurvey.ie Practitioners Forum 2022 included a workshop on qualitative data analysis, facilitated by Maura McGinn, Director of Institutional Research, UCD. You can access the presentation she delivered here.
The next tranche of research bursaries for the analysis of qualitative data generated by StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie have been allocated. Five research projects are being funded, and results are expected in May 2023.
Data analysis workshops
A series of data analysis and implementation workshops are held in regional venues each year. Additional workshops, discussions and further guidance are provided on request.
The following are included in the suite of workshops available:
1. StudentSurvey.ie Workshops 2021 - Introduction to the surveys
2a. StudentSurvey.ie Workshops_Training for student reps - Introduction to the surveys
2b. StudentSurvey.ie Workshops_Training for student - Data Analysis
3a. StudentSurvey.ie Workshops 2021 - Impact (In-person)
3a. StudentSurvey.ie Workshops 2021 - Focus on Impact (Virtual)
4. StudentSurvey.ie Workshops 2021 - Discipline specific
Good practice in the participating institutions
Practitioners Forum 2022 - Impact and innovation in the participating HEIs
Programmatic Review: Ecosystem Approach
Dr Gary Cahill, Lecturer, Faculty of Science
Martina O’Gorman, Lecturer, Faculty of Science
Dr Denise Earle, Lecturer, Faculty of Business
Dr Fintan Bracken, Director of the Office for Institutional Planning and Research
Dr Yvonne Kavanagh, Assistant Registrar
Access their presentation HERE