Student Training Programme

Developing the leadership capabilities of students in Irish higher education through training has been central to NStEP’s work since the very beginning.  Our Introductory Class Rep Training  module has been the cornerstone of the Student Training Programme, and to date over 2,700 students have participated in the Student Training Programme.  Developed in partnership with sparqs in 2016, it formed the basis for the majority of training opportunities offered up to the spring semester of 2020.  In 2018 NStEP added two variations of its introductory training to the programme. Online Student Rep Training  was developed in partnership with Hibernia College for reps based in online or blended educational environments, and a Postgraduate Taught Student Rep module was piloted across a number of participating institutions.  

NStEP is excited to launch revised Introductory Class Rep Training modules for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Changes include new learning resources and updated content based on an extensive evaluation of past participant feedback and sectoral consultation.  In addition to Introductory Class Rep Training, NStEP is currently building new training options to support students in a variety of contexts. 

Scroll down to learn more about the types of student training we offer

Introductory Class Rep Training

NStEP has trained over 2,700 student representatives (class reps) since its training programme was piloted in 2016.  Feedback from participants has consistently highlighted its value, with 97% of class reps reporting that they would recommend the training to their peers. Originally developed in partnership with  sparqsNStEP has extensively evaluated and revised the content of its Introductory Class Rep Training modules for the 2020-2021 academic year based upon a review of participant feedback and sectoral consultation.  Much of the emphasis of this work has been to update the tools provided to student representatives and to streamline content, therefore reducing the length of training while ensuring that key areas which students found most useful remain core. 

Introductory Class Rep Training is best suited to new student representatives, or those who have not completed NStEP training in the past. Feedback from past years shows that reps value the training more if completed alongside others from the same or a similar programme area. 

    Introductory Class Rep Training is now available to book for the 2020-2021 academic year

    Click here to read our booking guide

    Training Content

    Introductory Class Rep Training introduces student representatives to key areas, concepts, and tools that include:

    • A discussion of student engagement and partnership
    • The responsibilities and importance of the class rep role
    • NStEP’s work across the sector and the support / resources it offers for class reps
    • A revised ‘Student Learning Experience’ tool with enhanced emphasis on practical application for class reps
    • Strategies for gathering student opinion and feedback
    • The ABCD of Effective Feedback as a tool for communicating feedback to staff
    • Guidance on how to prepare for and participate in meetings
    • The importance of closing the feedback loop
    Learning Outcomes

    After completing Introductory Class Rep Training, participants will be able to:

    • Identify and describe student engagement within the context of the class rep role.
    • Describe and discuss the ‘Student Learning Experience’ and its use as a tool for collecting and evaluating feedback.
    • Explain the feedback cycle and discuss methods for gathering, acting upon, and reporting feedback.
    • Outline and apply the ABCD method for communicating effective feedback. 
    Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Options

    NStEP offers two types of Introductuctory Class Rep Training:  Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught.  Core content and learning objectives are the same for both modules, but the Postgraduate Taught training is adapted to reflect additional areas specific to that learning experience.  

    Format and Delivery

    In the past NStEP’s team of student trainers travelled to colleges across the country to deliver Introductory Class Rep Traing in person.   Due to to the ongoing situation surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic, however, all training will be delivered online using zoom.  Training will still be led by our team of experienced trainers, and each session will last for 90 minutes.  

    Training for Students Participating in Instituional Reviews / Quality Assurance Processes

    NStEP has a dedicated pool of Student Quality Assurance Reviewers who participate as student QA panel members across a range of QA processes. The QA pool is a partnership between Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

    NStEP also offers  student-led training and briefing sessions for students participating in QA processes, such as CINNTE Institutional Reviews.  This new training option was piloted with IT Carlow in June 2020.

    We are happy to work with institutions participating in NStEP to develop bespoke sessions to support students involved in internal quality assurance processes.

    Sample Content

    Training is tailored to each review process, but typically includes introduces students to the following key areas, concepts, and tools:

    • A discussion of student engagement and partnership
    • An introduction to quality assurance and quality enhancement, and the role students play in these processes
    • An introduction to the structure of the review process
    • The ‘Student Learning Experience’ as a reflective tool
    • Representing the broader student voice
    • The ABCD of Effective Feedback as a tool for communicating feedback to staff
    • A guest speaker – typically a student who has formerly participated in quality assurance/enhancement processes
    Sample Learning Outcomes

    After completing the student briefing, participants will be able to:

    • Identify and describe student engagement, and how it relates to Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement
    • Describe and consider the Student Learning Experience
    • Outline and apply the ABCD method for communicating effective feedback
    • Consider the experience of student participation in quality review
    Format and Delivery

    Student briefings are peer-led by one of our experienced student trainers.  Due to to the ongoing situation surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic, all training will be delivered online using zoom.  

    Duration: 90 Minutes

    Advanced Class Rep Training

    NStEP is due to begin the process of developing an advanced module for class reps who are returning to the role.  A national pilot, open to reps from across participating institutions, will be announced in due course.

    Postgraduate Research Student Seminars

    NStEP is keen to develop new resources and supports for postgraduate student engagement, especially for postgraduate research students. More details for upcoming seminars will be announced in due course.