Chapter 4 : Looking Deeper - Are quality of interactions important in the evaluation of college life among first year’s?
Respondents were asked to rate five dimensions of interactions on a seven-point scale from poor to excellent.
“At your institution, please indicate the quality of interactions with
- Academic advisors
- Academic staff
- Support staff
- Other administrative staff and offices”
Responses for each item were on a seven-point scale from poor to excellent, equivalised to minimum score of zero and a maximum score of 60. The five dimensions were collapsed to a single Quality of Interaction indicator by adding scores on each item rated by respondents, so that the minimum aggregate score was 0 and the maximum aggregate score was 300. This was converted to a three-category ordinal scale; respondents with scores of fifty and below were defined as having low quality of interaction, scores between 51 and 200 were defined as medium, and scores of 201 and greater were defined as having a high quality of interactions.
The value of Cronbach’s Alpha, a measure of the commonality of surveys items, was α = 0.83, considered a good level of inter-relatedness.
 Cronbach, L. J. (1951). "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests." psychometrika 16(3): 297-334.
Respondents were asked as in the last section of the survey a number of questions described as “final questions”. The first three of these were,
“How would you evaluate your entire educational experience at this institution?”
A four-point scale of response was available: Poor / Fair / Good / Excellent.
Responses were collapsed to a binary scale of positive and negative.
“If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?”
A four-point scale of response was available: Definitely no / Probably no / Probably yes / Definitely yes.
Responses were collapsed to a binary scale of yes and no.
“Have you ever seriously considered withdrawing from your degree programme? [select all that apply]”
- No, I have not seriously considered withdrawing
- Yes, for financial reasons
- Yes, for personal or family reasons
- Yes, for health reasons
- Yes, for employment reasons
- Yes, to transfer to another institution
Where a student answered no, they were deemed to have not seriously considered withdrawing; where a student answered yes to at least one of the reasons, they were deemed to have seriously considered withdrawing. 182 respondents reported both that they had not seriously considered withdrawing and had indicated yes to one of the reasons for considering withdrawal. As no further information was available to discern whether these respondents had or had not seriously considered withdrawing, these 182 observations were deemed invalid and dropped from the analytical sample.
(male / female)
The final sample included only responses that indicated male or female in response. A small number of participants indicated responses other than this. Inclusion of a third category of small frequency would have had the consequence of severely limiting the analysis at bivariate and multivariate level, as cell sizes would be empty for many cross-tabulations. Therefore, the available options were to group the two other categories with either male or female, or set aside these observations for this analysis. As no sound basis was available to group the smaller categories with either of the larger ones, the two smaller categories were set aside.
(18 years & below, 19-20, 21-24, 25-29, 30 years and older)
Year of birth was available in the dataset, but not date of birth. Those born 18 years or less prior to 2023 were deemed to be 18 years or younger. Those born either 19 or 20 years before 2023 were deemed aged 19-20 years. Those born between 21 and 24 years (inclusive) before 2023 were deem 21-24 years. Those born between 25 and 29 years (inclusive) before 2023 were deem 25-29 years, while those born 30 years or more before 2023 were deemed 30 years and greater.
Atlantic Technological University
Dublin Business School
Dublin City University
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire
Marino Institute of Education
Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
Munster Technological University
National College of Art and Design
National College of Ireland
Royal College of Surgeons
South East Technological University
St. Angela's College, Sligo
Technological University Dublin
Technological University of the Shannon
Trinity College Dublin
University College Cork
University College Dublin
University of Galway
University of Limerick
Technological HE Institutions
Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and veterinary
Arts and humanities
Business, administration, and law
Engineering, manufacturing, and construction
Generic programmes and qualifications
Health and welfare
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
Natural sciences, mathematics, and statistics
Social sciences, journalism, and information
Statistical analysis was conducted using Stata 18 (Statacorp, Tx.). Descriptive statistical analysis is provided for both univariate and bivariate analysis, and significance testing for differences between groups is conducted through Chi-squared test. For multivariate analysis, binary logistic regression was employed to examine the relationship between the explanatory variable and each of the three outcome variables, and including the background variables as co-variates. Binary logistic regression results are reported in odds ratios.