Welcome to FLOURISH !

FLOURISH is a new programme for Year 2 undergraduate students in DCU starting in September 2021. It delivers practical tips in the areas that impact your everyday wellness and happiness including your sleep, nutrition, work habits, procrastination, relationships with others, physical activity, positive psychology, critical thinking and others.

Registration for FLOURISH for 2022-2023 will open in September

FLOURISH is similar to other programs on wellness and the "science of happiness" at places like Yale and Berkeley in the United States, but in addition to being all about you and your wellbeing it is also about your data, and how you can use your data for your benefit.

A survey in 2020 found that only 42% of young adults in Ireland are in the "normal" range for depression and anxiety, with University life, managing your finances and worrying about your future being the three main stressors. Despite the fact that the various support services across the Universities in Ireland received more than 11,000 requests from students for counselling during COVID, this is only a small percentage of those of you who are anxious and/or depressed. That means that there are a lot of you students out there keeping all that stress and anxiety to yourselves.

FLOURISH: Use Your Data for your Wellbeing was developed to see how harnessing student data, both University data and personal data, could support you as a student to manage your life, to be well, and to reach your goals.

FLOURISH (module code CA290) was approved by the Faculty of Engineering and Computing Teaching and Learning Committee in December 2020 as an accredited standalone module. For 2021/2022 it is being offered in unaccredited form and not part of any degree program, as a module on Loop.

Though it is not part of any particular undergraduate degree program and does not have any impact on your marks for your degree classification, it is on offer to all as an additional activity. It is full-year module available on Loop, where you can gain a recognised digital certification or micro-credential worth 5 credits following its completion, if you so choose. FLOURISH is a pass-or-fail module, so there are no actual marks for completing it; if you complete enough of the assignments you pass, most of the 10 topics within FLOURISH have some individual assignment which is very lightweight and typically involves you doing something with your own data, using yourself as a guinea pig for your own experiments or reflections, on yourself. If you successfully complete enough of these assignments, then you will get the micro-credential which you can add to your University portfolio, if you don't then that's fine also. In fact we have a very relaxed approach to how you interact with FLOURISH. If you want to register and just dip into some of the topics and not do the assignments then that is fine, and if you want to do the assignments and get the micro-credentials then that is fine also. It is up to you, whatever suits you.

The module content is delivered by almost a dozen of DCUís experts across a range of topics plus some colleagues from other Universities and from industry.

FLOURISH will encourage you to record data on some of your own activities such as your nutrition and your sleep and to use your own data to learn about yourself, guided by us. As part of you registering for FLOURISH, you give us permission to access some part of the data that the University already has on you .. specifically your Loop access logs. DCU already has this information anyway and by granting us access to this you we will be able to turn this into personalised feedback for your eyes only, on this one small aspect of your life where you might want to make changes. You may also wish to share with us some of the data you gather on your sleep, exercise and nutrition, but only if you want to, and if you do that then we can improve the kind of feedback we can generate for you. This process of data sharing and access has been approved by the University's Data Protection Office following a formal data protection impact assessment.

FLOURISH has strong endorsement from across the University with involvement and input from all Faculties. It is supported by the DCU Studentsí Union, Student Support and Development, Senior Management including the President's Office, Educational Trust, and more.

President of DCU, Professor Daire Keogh said:

The development of FLOURISH reflects DCU's 'People First' values, and our focus on supporting students' wellness and personal development, alongside academic excellence. By offering them a structured way to manage their own physical and mental wellbeing, the module will help students to learn more about themselves and establish healthy habits for life. This can only benefit their overall university experience.

President of DCU Students' Union, Terence Rooney said:

The FLOURISH module will be a great resource for students going forward. It's packed with really valuable information that will not only help assist students with the common student struggles but also empower them to make positive changes to their lifestyle. It's also really helpful that registration to this module will stay open for students throughout the semester so that students can access these resources whenever they need them throughout the year.

FLOURISH is based on more than two years of background work, even before the course starts, which involved interviews and group meetings with students, student leaders, and health experts within both DCU and our partner University in FLOURISH, UCD. A pilot version of FLOURISH was run in DCU in 2020/2021. Within DCU, Flourish is run by the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, a research centre funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

For further information on FLOURISH, contact Prof. Alan Smeaton, who heads up the implementation of FLOURISH at DCU.

Registration for FLOURISH for 2022-2023 will open in September

FLOURISH is partly supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under Grant Number SFI/12/RC/2289_P2, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.