Surveys and data analysis

The QEO collects quality-related institutional data and is responsible for facilitating internal and external requests for institutional data and its subsequent analyses and dissemination.

Surveys

The QEO is responsible for collecting feedback from students through internal and national surveys. Examples include:

  • RCSI Student Pulse: This monthly poll enables students to share feedback on their learning experience with RCSI decision-makers. Each month a randomly selected group of students is invited to answer three questions: how they feel about their student experience; what things work well at the University; and what could be improved. Answering the poll takes only one minute and is anonymous. The poll is repeated monthly to get a full picture of what students think at different times.
  • End of semester module feedback surveys: The QEO manages the end of semester student feedback survey data collection that covers all Undergraduate and the majority of Postgraduate programmes. RCSI students are requested to complete a survey twice a year (in December/January and May) at the end of each semester. These dates are protected in the RCSI calendar to ensure no other survey activities take place at the same time. The core survey questions are the same for each year and campus (Dublin, Bahrain, Perdana). Student feedback is reported to Cycle Directors and Heads of Schools who develop a Quality Improvement Plan outlining quality assurance activities for next academic year.
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion survey: As an Athena SWAN Bronze award holder, RCSI collects student feedback on various equality and diversity initiatives to track progress on implementing equality and diversity initiatives. This annual survey gives RCSI students a safe space to comment on equality and diversity matters to ensure equality of opportunity and supportive learning environment.
  • StudentSurvey.ie: StudentSurvey.ie is an annual, nationwide survey of first year, final year and taught postgraduate students. The survey attempts to measure students’ engagement in learning with questions referring to various learning strategies, learning environment, quality of teaching and interactions with staff. RCSI has participated in this survey since 2014 and is able to track the changes in student experience over time.
  • Research and other bespoke surveys: The QEO supports RCSI researchers with reaching out to our students and acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ for research projects. We collect and anonymise data from research participants and ensure the data is stored securely in line with research ethics and GDPR requirements.

The QEO is responsible for collecting feedback from staff members through internal and national surveys. Examples include:

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion annual survey: The QEO supports the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit in collecting staff feedback on equality and diversity matters. As an Athena SWAN Bronze award holder, RCSI requests anonymous feedback from staff on an annual basis to ensure equality of opportunity and supportive working environment. The results feed into equality and diversity policies and action plans as well as Athena SWAN departmental applications.
  • Stakeholder feedback: Occasionally RCSI staff members are asked to assist departments that are undergoing an internal quality review with gathering information on their relations with internal stakeholders. Staff members are invited to share opinions on the interactions with the reviewed department and rate their service provision. All quality review surveys are anonymous and results are shared with the unit under review in an aggregated format to ensure no staff member can be identified from the data.
  • Research and other bespoke surveys: The QEO supports RCSI researchers with reaching out to our staff members and acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ for research projects. We collect and anonymise data from research participants and ensure the data is stored securely in line with research ethics and GDPR requirements.

The QEO oversees all survey activities in RCSI to ensure the anonymity of students and staff. We closely monitor who can request access to students and staff and what data is being collected. The QEO facilitates the process of data collection of bespoke and research surveys. All requests for survey access to RCSI students and staff are managed by the QEO who will advise on the feasibility and timelines of the proposed project. The following factors are considered:

  • Target group and timing: There are periods of protected time that will preclude additional surveys, for example the end of each semester, when students are – or will soon be – engaged in formal internal feedback processes.
  • Ethics approval status: All surveys conducted among RCSI staff and students are subjected to ethics approval, either from the RCSI Research Ethics Committee or another institution (subject to approval).
  • Survey workload: The volume of recent or forthcoming surveys with the RCSI student body or proposed sub-groups of students and staff..

If you have any questions about survey activities, please contact quality@rcsi.ie.

Data analysis

The QEO provides support and advice in relation to the design and analysis of surveys, and educational tests in all areas including:

  • Survey design/test design
  • Item generation/testing
  • Psychometric analysis and validation
  • Setting and maintenance of performance standards

For further details please contact quality@rcsi.ie