“Do you feel confident in your ability to complete your course?” “Do you feel at home here in DCU?”
These are just some of the questions being posed to the first year class of 2021 who are being asked to participate in a survey which will assess how well they are coping with the substantial adjustment to life in third level education.
The aptly titled ‘First Year Check-in at DCU’ survey is being used by the university to identify those who might be struggling with the challenges posed to them by college life and to provide those individuals with the resources they need to overcome these challenges.
The entire process takes place on a dedicated app called ‘AthenaCx’, which students can download directly onto their phone for ease of access.
For the entirety of the first semester, first year students will be prompted to complete a quick two-minute survey which focuses on three main areas; Belongingness, Engagement and Self-confidence.
Speaking to The College View, Product Manager Bren O’Neill explained that each question in the survey correlates with one of those three areas.
“You will then receive a score based on your answers to each question. Your number is available throughout the process and can be viewed at any time in the ‘My analytics section’”, he added.
“This data is then sent to the Q.P.O (Quality Promotions Office) and the Student Support and Development team, who are really engaging with new technology for the benefit of students”.
These results are then analysed and corroborated with other trends, such as course choices, leading to a very powerful collection of information, which is used to offer students with the resources and materials that would be of most benefit to them. Simultaneously, it will allow students to track their own levels of ‘Belongingness, Engagement and Self confidence’ throughout the semester.
DCU, in collaboration with AthenaCX, is striving to make the transition to higher education more manageable for new students in a modernized way that reflects the technological world we live in. This specific approach to tackling the stresses that come with the genesis of your university experience will truly be of benefit, not only to current students, but also to the students that will eventually succeed them.
So far two rounds of AthenaCX surveys have been completed, however it is not too late for first years to get involved.
First years are being invited to download the AthenaCX app on either iOS or Android, and then selecting ‘Join Closed Study’, and entering your participant ID, which is the first part of your DCU email address, excluding the ‘@mail.dcu.ie’ portion.
Image Credit: Alison Clair