Announcements in Depth
Posted below are details from NSSE announcements over time, with newest announcements at the top. To view NSSE's most recent announcements, visit our homepage.
NSSE is pleased to announce that the popular Topical Modules will now be available to recently participating institutions to administer locally during their NSSE "off-year." In the Topical Module local administration option, institutions are responsible for all details of survey administration. This provides institutions the flexibility to administer tested, short item sets to conduct more tailored assessment and improvement activities, for example:
- assess improvements to advising practices using the Academic Advising module;
- administer the Global Learning module to specific student populations;
- use the Experiences with Writing module to collect baseline data on the quality of student writing assignments, and then conduct a follow-up administration to assess the impact of improvement efforts;
- evaluate grant activities focused on enhancing educational technology with the Learning with Technology module; and
- gain input from specific student groups by administering the Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity module to evaluate the impact of diversity programs.
Over 2 million students at 720 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities will receive invitations to complete NSSE 2017. This administration includes several new changes to the survey instrument as well as different services to boost student response.
- The infrequently selected Experiences with Diverse Perspectives Topical Module has been replaced with a new module, titled Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity.
- All NSSE respondents using the survey’s desktop format will experience a new survey design, similar to the mobile survey format launched in 2016, which has been shown to improve data quality.
- For the first time, institutions will be able to designate which students to include in their NSSE reports, depending on their specific assessment goals.
- The opportunity to answer NSSE’s sexual orientation question will also be offered to all survey respondents this year, allowing NSSE and participating institutions to increase their capacity for in-depth analysis of understudied student subpopulations.
- Over 150 institutions elected to post survey links to their learning management systems and student portals, providing an alternative way to boost student participation.
- Posting survey links complements recent changes in NSSE’s IRB protocol that allows institutions to send two additional IRB-approved recruitment email messages directly from their own campus, raising the potential total number of direct contacts with students to seven.
We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Institutional Report package is available to participating institutions. Institution results can also be viewed and shared from the Online Institutional Report accessible from the Institution Interface. The report package features detailed analyses and valuable resources to facilitate campus decision making. It also includes material related to NSSE's two companion surveys, the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) and the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE). Over 1.3 million first-year and senior students from 557 U.S. and Canadian institutions were invited to participate in NSSE this year. More than 311,000 students responded to the survey. For more information, see the NSSE 2016 Overview and a sample Institutional Report package.
The second annual institute will guide participating campus teams in developing evidence-based action plans aimed at improving effective instructional practices, student engagement, and student learning and success. Teams of at least three faculty, an academic administrator, and at least one other person will work directly with experienced educators from across the country and in cohorts of teams addressing similar topics to develop evidence-based action plans. This residential institute will include plenaries, concurrent sessions, team time, and small– and large–group sessions.
*Co–sponsored with Achieving the Dream, Inc. (AtD), National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, and Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (WSBCTC).
--Alexander C. McCormick (March 2016)
Events sparked by sexual violence, racial unrest, and free speech issues during the past year have strained the crisis management capacity of colleges and universities across the US. Presidents at these institutions, beyond grappling with the crisis of the moment and preparing for the next, are seeking to proactively address these challenges by making their campuses and their students' college experience more inclusive and engaging. High-impact educational practices that engage students outside as well as inside the classroom, key measures on NSSE, have not only been strongly associated with student success outcomes but are also increasingly regarded as promising approaches for better student health and more inclusive campus environments. Giving evidence of this trend at colleges and universities, a recent article in the American Council on Education's The Presidency discusses numerous initiatives underway at institutions, such as service-learning, learning communities, enriched residence life, internships, and study abroad, as well as a range of enhancements in facilities and programs for physical and mental health and inclusion. A number of higher education leaders share insights on these issues and offer recommendations for increasing inclusiveness on campus and creating and maintaining healthy student life.
Read the article ...
The report, Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education, finds that substantial shares of students were insufficiently challenged by their courses. Only 54% of first-year and 61% of senior students were highly challenged to do their best work. For these results and more, see: Annual Results.
We are pleased to announce that the NSSE Institutional Report 2015 is available to participating institutions. Institution results can also be viewed and shared from the Online Institutional Report accessible from the Institution Interface. Institutional Report 2015 features redesigned reports to improve visual display and facilitate campus decision making. The updated report—with new Engagement Indicators and measures of High-Impact Practices—provides more actionable information related to effective educational practice. It also includes material related to NSSE's two companion surveys, the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) and the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE). Nearly 1.4 million first-year and senior students from 585 U.S. and Canadian institutions were invited to participate in NSSE this year. More than 315,000 students responded to the survey. For more information, see the NSSE 2015 Overview and a sample Institutional Report 2015.
NSSE 2015 is in the field! More than 1.5 million students at 554 U.S. campuses and 21 Canadian universities have been invited to complete NSSE 2015. About 150 campuses are participating in one of 9 consortia or 3 state systems, and even more have opted to append a topical module (new to NSSE in 2013) on 9 timely topics in higher education including, academic advising, first-year experiences & senior transitions, and writing.
The report, Bringing the Institution into Focus—Annual Results 2014, details results from 355,000 first-year students and seniors attending 622 U.S. colleges and universities. Findings released on November 20, 2014 include expanded and refined coverage of student engagement in effective educational practices and coverage of optional topics of special interest to institutions including academic advising and experiences with information literacy. The report also provides examples of how colleges and universities are using their NSSE results to enhance the quality of undergraduate education.
We are pleased to announce that the NSSE Institutional Report 2014 has shipped to participating institutions. Institution results can also be downloaded or viewed and shared with the Online Institutional Report - a new Web-based version of the report (including links to PDFs). The Institutional Report 2014 features redesigned reports to improve visual display and facilitate campus decision making. The updated survey and report—with new Engagement Indicators and measures of High-Impact Practices—promise to provide more actionable information related to effective educational practice. It also includes material related to NSSE's two companion surveys, the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) and the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE). More than 1.8 million first-year and senior students from 713 U.S. and Canadian institutions were invited to participate in NSSE this year. Approximately 474,000 students completed the survey. For more information, see the NSSE 2014 Overview and a sample Institutional Report 2014.
The report, A Fresh Look at Student Engagement-Annual Results 2013, details results from the inaugural administration of our updated survey, NSSE 2013, based on responses from 335,000 first-year students and seniors attending 568 U.S. colleges and universities. Findings released on November 14, 2013 include expanded and refined coverage of student engagement in effective educational practices, new summary measures of student engagement, and coverage of optional topics of special interest to institutions including academic advising and technology. The report also provides examples of how colleges and universities are using their NSSE results to enhance the quality of undergraduate education.
The NSSE Report Builder—Institution Version is an interactive tool that instantly generates custom reports using institution-specific NSSE data. Expanding on the public version, this secure version of the Report Builder can create tables of Benchmark or Engagement Indicator statistics or individual item frequencies that compare subgroups of students within an institution, or that compare their students to those from a selected comparison group of institutions. You may also compare your results across years or combine results from multiple years. Access your customized institution's Report Builder via the Data and Reports page on the Institution Interface.
The redesigned NSSE Institutional Report 2013 binders shipped to participating institutions in September. Downloadable reports and data files are available through NSSE's secure Institution Interface, and a new Online Report is also available through the Interface. The Institutional Report 2013 features redesigned reports to improve visual display and facilitate campus decision making. It also includes material related to NSSE's two companion surveys, FSSE and BCSSE. Over one and a half million first-year and senior students from 613 U.S. and Canadian institutions were invited to participate, and approximately 364,000 students responded. Also available for non-participating institutions is a Overview of this year's administration, and a sample Institutional Report 2013.
The updated BCSSE includes new items to increase alignment with NSSE 2013 for a more comprehensive analysis of the first-year experience. The update maintains BCSSE's focus on gathering information from entering, first-year students regarding their high school experiences and their expectations for engagement during their first year in college.
A comprehensive review published in Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research Volume 28.
Read the Change magazine article (May/June 2013) summarizing what we've learned over NSSE's first 13 years, why the survey has been updated, and new insights and diagnostic possibilities represented by these changes.
The report, Promoting Student Learning and Institutional Improvement: Lessons from NSSE at 13-Annual Results 2012, details results from NSSE's 2012 survey of 285,000 first-year students and seniors attending 546 U.S. colleges and universities. Findings released on November 15, 2012 include how financial challenges affect college students, how social media can be a mixed blessing, and updates to key findings from NSSE's first 13 years on topics such as deep approaches to learning and high-impact practices.
These findings demonstrate the need for colleges and universities to monitor how emerging issues and trends facing today's college students affect their ability to thrive and succeed.
In the recently released Moving from Data to Action: Lessons from the Field - Volume 2, we highlight new examples of how institutions are using NSSE data to enhance undergraduate teaching and learning. The stories illustrate the ways assessment can:
- be a worthwhile undertaking when meaningful data are generated and discussed with a wide campus audience
- use NSSE results to inform efforts to improve educational effectiveness
You choose the group. We'll show you the results.
Campus assessment professionals have many questions about patterns of engagement for different populations of students and institutions. The NSSE Report Builder instantly generates reports from a secure database containing the two most recent years of NSSE, and can be queried using many combinations of student and institutional characteristics. Variable options include individual items and benchmarks. Give it a try!
Go to the NSSE Report Builder
We are pleased to announce that an updated version of the National Survey of Student Engagement will launch with the 2013 administration. The update incorporates what we have learned over the past decade while preserving NSSE's signature focus on diagnostic and actionable information related to engagement in effective educational practice. With an updated survey, we aim to refine existing measures and scales, incorporate new dimensions of effective teaching and learning, and improve the clarity and applicability of survey language.
Each year, more campuses use their NSSE results in innovative ways. We've highlighted these examples in publications including Using NSSE Data and Lessons from the Field. All these examples are now searchable via a new database of more than 500 examples of NSSE use. You can search for examples by keywords, institution name, or Carnegie classification, and by type of use such as for accreditation, or general education assessment, or using results to study retention, or strengthen advising. These campus examples provide instructive accounts and inspiring examples of how other colleges and universities are using their NSSE results to improve undergraduate education.