The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE)

 

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2016 (SN: 0030-03)

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2015 (SN: 0030-02)

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2014 (SN: 0030-01)

 

ABOUT THE STUDY

The central aim of Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) is to develop a valuable source of information about students’ experiences of higher education in Ireland. The results of the survey are intended primarily to add value at institutional level, and to inform national policy. A detailed online survey was offered to first year undergraduates, final year undergraduates and postgraduate students on taught programmes. Data are presented as responses to individual items and as calculated scores for eleven indices that relate to broad aspects of student engagement, such as Collaborative Learning and Higher Order Learning. The ISSE has formative links with the US National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE). Thus, Irish data can be evaluated in the context of other jurisdictions in addition to the national or sector contexts. Note that a there was a substantial revision of questions deployed in 2016 which limits the extent to which 2016 data may be compared to data from previous years.

Student engagement may be defined as students’ involvement in activities and environments that are likely to generate high-quality learning. Students are ultimately responsible for their own learning but this depends on institutions and staff creating an environment that encourages and promotes student involvement in educationally-relevant activities. Student engagement with higher education is seen as being enhanced through exposing students to a high quality learning environment. Measuring engagement can provide a means to develop a fuller understanding of the student experience above and beyond that ascertained through surveys of student satisfaction alone.

More than 29,000 students from thirty institutions responded to the 2016 survey which was undertaken in February – March 2016. A substantial revision of question items was undertaken in advance of annual fieldwork in 2016.

Main Topics:

Higher Education
Student Behaviour
Student Engagement
Student Participation
Students (College)

 

COVERAGE, UNIVERSE, METHODOLOGY

Population

The survey was offered as a voluntary census survey to all first year undergraduate students, final year undergraduate students and postgraduate students pursuing taught programmes in state-funded higher education institutions.

Observation units

Individual

Institutions / Organisations

Temporal coverage

Dates of fieldwork (2016): 02/2016 to 03/2016

Dates of fieldwork (2015): 02/2015 to 03/2015

Dates of fieldwork (2014): 02/2014 to 03/2014

Each participating institution selected the most appropriate three week period for local fieldwork from the overall national fieldwork period.

Time dimensions

Repeated cross-sectional study

It is envisaged to implement ISSE on an annual basis. The 2014 dataset represents the first non-pilot iteration.

Geographical coverage

Republic of Ireland

Methods of data collection

Computer Assisted Self Interviewing

The survey was based on volunteers with all members of the target cohort (first year undergraduate, final year undergraduate, taught postgraduate higher education students) invited to participate.

Weighting

Percentage responses to question items, and calculated index scores, were weighted by sex, stage of study (first year, final year, postgrad taught) and mode of study (full-time or part-time / remote) at institutional level to ensure that the profile of respondents matched the profile of the student population. At national level, this has a very minor impact due to very similar profiles.

Individual question items are grouped to contribute to specific indices. Index scores are not percentages. They are calculated scores to enable interpretation of the data at a higher level than individual questions i.e. to act as signposts to help the reader to navigate large data sets.

Each question in the survey has between 4 and 8 possible responses. These are converted to a 100 point scale with 0 as the start point. To illustrate, if response 3 is chosen from 4 possible responses, this converts to a score of 66.67 as in the example below:

Question

Responses

 

 

 

Asked questions or contributed to discussions in class, tutorials, labs or online

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Responses transformed to 100-point scale

0

33.33

66.67

100

 

Index scores are calculated for an individual student when he/ she provides responses to the majority of contributing questions. The exact number of responses required varies according to the index, based on psychometric testing undertaken by NSSE and AUSSE, but a majority is always required. For example, twelve questions contribute to the index Academic Challenge. Seven of these must be answered in order to calculate the index score. Seven questions contribute to Active Learning. Four of these must be answered in order to calculate the index score. The index score is calculated from the mean of responses given. Index scores for any particular student group, for example first years, are calculated as the mean of individual index scores.

Example of SPSS syntax to calculate index scores for Higher Order Thinking (HOT), General Learning Outcomes (LRN), General Development Outcomes (DEV) and Career Readiness (CRE). Syntax file is available.

compute HOT = mean.3(analyseh, synthesh, evaluateh, applyingh).

compute LRN = mean (gnworkh, gnwriteh, gnspeakh, gnanalyh, gnquanth, gncmptsh, gnothersh, gninqh).

compute DEV = mean (gncitiznh, gnselfh, gndiversh, gnprobsvh, gnethicsh, gncommunh).

compute CRE = mean.4(resumeh, empappearh, lookjobsh, jobnetworkh, setcargoalsh).

Response rate

The national response rate (2014) was 15.6%. The response rates for the subgroups are as follows:

Characteristic

Response Rate (2014)

National

15.6%

Gender

 

   Female

18.6%

   Male

12.5%

Institution-type

 

   University

14.0%

   Institute of Technology

15.6%

   Other institutions

26.0%

Mode of Study

 

   Full-time

17.4%

   Part-time / remote

8.2%

Year/Cohort

 

   Undergraduate – First Year

17.5%

   Undergraduate – Final Year

15.5%

   Postgraduate (taught)

11.6%

 

The overall national response rate (2016) was 22.2%. The response rate for subgroups are as follows:

Characteristic Population  Responses  Response Rate (%)
National 131,161  29,173  22.2%
Age     
23 and Under 74,548 56.8% 18,448 63.2% 24.7%
24 and Over 56,541 43.1% 10,682 36.6% 18.9%
Gender     
Female 66,959 51.1% 17,208 59.0% 26.8%
Male 64,202 48.9% 11,965 41.0% 17.9%
Institution-type     
Universities 67,272 51.3% 12,932 44.3% 19.2%
Institutes of Technology 53,520 40.8% 12,942 44.4% 24.2%
Other institutions 10,369 7.9% 3,299 11.3% 31.8%
Mode of Study     
Full-time 105,654 80.6% 25,912 88.8% 24.5%
Part-time / remote 25,507 19.4% 3,261 11.2% 12.8%
Field of Study     
Generic Programmes & Qualifications 58 0.0% 16 0.1% 27.6%
Education 9,561 7.3% 2,538 8.7% 26.5%
Arts & Humanities 20,531 15.7% 4,871 16.7% 23.7%
Social Sciences, Journalism & Information 7,657 5.8% 1,614 5.5% 21.1%
Business, Administration & Law 28,675 21.9% 5,521 18.9% 19.3%
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics 11,293 8.6% 2,992 10.3% 26.5%
Information & Communication Technologies 10,256 7.8% 2,381 8.2% 23.2%
Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction 14,056 10.7% 2,953 10.1% 21.0%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary 1,960 1.5% 366 1.3% 18.7%
Health & Welfare 20,235 15.4% 4,227 14.5% 20.9%
Services 6,879 5.2% 1,694 5.8% 24.6%
Year/Cohort     
Undergraduate – First Year 54,792 41.8% 14,076 48.3% 25.7%
Undergraduate – Final Year 48,799 37.2% 10,650 36.5% 21.8%
Postgraduate (taught) 27,570 21.0% 4,447 15.2% 16.1%

 

DATA AND DOCUMENTATION: FILES DESCRIPTION

 

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2016 (SN: 0030-03)

 

Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

0030-03_ISSE_2016.sav

SPSS data

National survey dataset

0030-03_ISSE_2016_SPSSsyntax

Text / SPSS syntax

SPSS syntax

 

Documentation (available for download)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2016 Questionaire


PDF

Questions used in 2016 survey   

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2016 Codebook

 

Excel

Codebook

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2016 National report

 

PDF

National report

 

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2015 (SN: 0030-02)

 

Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

ISSE2015-ISSDA.sav

SPSS data

National survey dataset

ISSE-SPSS-syntax

Text / SPSS syntax

SPSS syntax

 

Documentation (available for download)

File name

File format/s Content of file

 ISSE_2014_questions_pdf

 

PDF Questions used in 2014 survey   

 Data File Structure 2015 - ISSDA

 

Excel Codebook

 ISSE-Report 2015

 

PDF National report

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2014 (SN: 0030-01)

 

Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

ISSE2014-ISSDA.sav

SPSS data

National survey dataset

ISSE-SPSS-syntax

Text / SPSS syntax

SPSS syntax

 

Documentation (available for download)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

ISSE_2014_questions_pdf


PDF

Questions used in 2014 survey   

Data File Structure - ISSDA

 

Excel

Codebook

ISSE-Report_2014

 

PDF

National report

 

 

LINKS

ISSE website: www.studentsurvey.ie

Coates, Hamish, and Alexander C. McCormick. "Engaging University Students." International Insights from System-Wide Studies.Springer, 2014. Available at:http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-4585-63-7

 

ACCESS INFORMATION

 

Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete a ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes, and follow the procedures, as above. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.

Acknowledgements

Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Irish Survey of Student Engagement" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive - www.ucd.ie/issda”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Irish Survey of Student Engagement. (2017). The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2016. [data collection]. 1st Edition. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0030-03, http://www.ucd.ie/issda/isse

Irish Survey of Student Engagement. (2015). The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2015. [data collection]. 1st Edition. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0030-02, http://www.ucd.ie/issda/isse

Irish Survey of Student Engagement. (2015). The Irish Survey of Student Engagement, 2014. [data collection]. 1st Edition. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0030-01, http://www.ucd.ie/issda/isse

Notification

The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characteristic

 Population

 Responses

 Response Rate (%)

 National

 131,161

 29,173

 22.2%

 Age
 23 and Under

 74,548

 56.8%

 18,448

 63.2%

 24.7%

 24 and Over

 56,541

 43.1%

 10,682

 36.6%

 18.9%

 Gender
 Female

 66,959

 51.1%

 17,208

 59.0%

 26.8%

 Male

 64,202

 48.9%

 11,965

 41.0%

 17.9%

 Institution-type
 Universities

 67,272

 51.3%

 12,932

 44.3%

 19.2%

 Institutes of Technology

 53,520

 40.8%

 12,942

 44.4%

 24.2%

 Other institutions

 10,369

 7.9%

 3,299

 11.3%

 31.8%

 Mode of Study
 Full-time

 105,654

 80.6%

 25,912

 88.8%

 24.5%

 Part-time / remote

 25,507

 19.4%

 3,261

 11.2%

 12.8%

 Field of Study
 Generic Programmes & Qualifications

 58

 0.0%

 16

 0.1%

 27.6%

 Education

 9,561

 7.3%

 2,538

 8.7%

 26.5%

 Arts & Humanities

 20,531

 15.7%

 4,871

 16.7%

 23.7%

 Social Sciences, Journalism & Information

 7,657

 5.8%

 1,614

 5.5%

 21.1%

 Business, Administration & Law

 28,675

 21.9%

 5,521

 18.9%

 19.3%

 Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics

 11,293

 8.6%

 2,992

 10.3%

 26.5%

 Information & Communication Technologies

 10,256

 7.8%

 2,381

 8.2%

 23.2%

 Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction

 14,056

 10.7%

 2,953

 10.1%

 21.0%

 Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary

 1,960

 1.5%

 366

 1.3%

 18.7%

 Health & Welfare

 20,235

 15.4%

 4,227

 14.5%

 20.9%

 Services

 6,879

 5.2%

 1,694

 5.8%

 24.6%

 Year/Cohort
 Undergraduate – First Year

 54,792

 41.8%

 14,076

 48.3%

 25.7%

 Undergraduate – Final Year

 48,799

 37.2%

 10,650

 36.5%

 21.8%

 Postgraduate (taught)

 27,570

 21.0%

 4,447

 15.2%

 16.1%

Tools