Measuring the Student Experience with i-graduate

Measuring the Student Experience with i-graduate

As part of the first virtual THE-ICE International Panel of Experts (VIPoE) 2020, i-graduate ran an exclusive workshop for members of THE-ICE titled Measuring the Student Experience. Hosted by Nick Pidgeon (Head of Surveys and Benchmarking), Robin Hallows (Principal Consultant) and Mellissa Oliver (Senior Account Executive), the workshop provided insight into how to interpret the numbers, and the best way to use each of the reporting deliverables of the annual THE-ICE ISBSB Survey; delivered a first look at potential enhancements for 2021; and shared a summary of the findings from i-graduate’s recent COVID-19 survey, which asked 25,000 students about their concerns during the pandemic.

About i-graduate

Since i-graduate’s inception in 2005, they have gathered feedback from more than 3 million students in over 1,400 universities across 33 countries. The ISBSB is i-graduate’s flagship survey, asking students what they think of all aspects of their student experience, and each year has a global benchmark of 125-200,000 student responses, ~10,000 of which are from THE-ICE institutions. This is a significant and credible global data set for THE-ICE institutions to compare themselves against, in addition to comparison against THE-ICE benchmark.

As part of THE-ICE’s commitment to significantly and sustainably enhancing the quality of higher education in tourism, hospitality, events and culinary arts (TH&E), THE-ICE has partnered with i-graduate since 2007 to conduct the annual THE-ICE ISBSB (International Student Barometer and Student Barometer™) Student Satisfaction Survey, monitoring and benchmarking international (ISB) and domestic (SB) student expectations and satisfaction at THE-ICE accredited member institutions.

THE-ICE ISBSB Reporting and Deliverables

Head of Surveys and Benchmarking, Nick Pidgeon, explained the key deliverables of THE-ICE ISBSB:

  • Ranking sheet shows the percentage of respondents who marked ‘satisfied’ and ‘very satisfied’ for each question and how an institution ranks against the Global and THE-ICE benchmarks.
  • Ranking grid shows the average of respondents’ scores on a four-point scale and how these results rank against THE-ICE ISBSB benchmarks.
  • Summary sheet shows the average scores, benchmarks, and percentages of variance. To protect the credibility of the comparative data, any element receiving fewer than ten (10) responses is marked as not statistically valid (NSV).
  • Pivot table is the most comprehensive piece of reporting, containing all student response data and allowing for data analysis.
  • Open Comments show feedback received in a free text format. These can be filtered and searched using keywords, but i-graduate recommends reading through all of them to gain a full picture of student opinions.

Asked which aspects of the results are most important, and as such which aspects institutions with a low capacity for data analysis should focus on, Nick answered that the ranking sheet provides a great snapshot of what to focus on in more detail, and that questions with satisfaction below 3.00 will show which elements need attention according to the student feedback.

Enhancements for 2021

Mellissa Oliver explained that 2021 will see the introduction of the InTouch portal, a secure self-service screen where institutions can submit their personalised survey and terminology changes, add or remove optional question blocks, and have the option to add additional questions at an additional cost. Institutions will be able to monitor their response rate via InTouch and can personalise the dashboard.

COVID-19 Response Barometer Survey

Robin Hallows provided a brief snapshot of the results of the COVID-19 Response Barometer Survey, focusing on Germany, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. The survey was a short questionnaire about students’ satisfaction with their institution’s response, communication, and online learning during the pandemic, and whether they are considering continuing their studies or graduating. The survey was opened for 2-4 weeks per institution between May and September 2020, with 25,000 responses received from 44 institutions. The questions asked in the COVID-19 Response Barometer have been refined from feedback and can now be embedded into future ISBSB surveys.


The recording of the i-graduate workshop: Measuring the Student Experience can be accessed here.

For more information about THE-ICE VIPoE 2020, click here.


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