FSSE is committed to transparency and sharing aggregate findings with the higher education research community. To support that commitment, the Content Summaries offered below compile brief reviews of findings from the 10 FSSE Scales and Topical Modules. In each Content Summary, counts, means, standard deviations, and factor loadings; as well as frequencies for each scale item are presented. In addition, statistical information about the creation of each scale, how instructional staff responses differ by discipline, correlations between all FSSE scales, and significant instructional staff and course characteristic predictors for behaviors measured by the scale are included.
FSSE Content Summaries
Challenging intellectual and creative work is central to student learning and collegiate quality. Colleges and universities promote high levels of student achievement by calling on students to engage in complex cognitive tasks requiring more than mere memorization of facts. This content area captures how much students' coursework emphasizes challenging cognitive tasks such as application, analysis, judgment, and synthesis.
Personally connecting with course material requires students to relate their understanding and experiences to the content at hand. Instructors emphasizing reflective and integrative learning motivate students to make connections between their learning and the world around them, reexamining their own beliefs and considering issues and ideas from others’ perspectives.
College students enhance their learning and retention by actively engaging with and analyzing course material rather than approaching learning as absorption. Examples of effective learning strategies include identifying key information in readings, reviewing notes after class, and summarizing course material. Instructors emphasizing these learning strategies in their courses help students encode key information to build long-term memory and retention.
Learning is collaborative work. Collaborative learning requires students to mutually raise questions, seek understandings, and search for solutions in interactive group settings. Instructors emphasizing collaborative learning motivate students to learn from each other through peer teaching and knowledge exchange.
This measure examines how much opportunity students have to engage in discussions with people who differ from themselves. Questions explore how often faculty create opportunities for students to engage in discussions with people from difference races, economic backgrounds, religious beliefs, political views and sexual orientation. This document provides basic findings for the Discussions with Diverse Others’ scale and individual component items.
Interactions with faculty can positively influence the cognitive growth, development, and persistence of college students. Through their formal and informal roles as teachers, advisors, and mentors, faculty members model intellectual work, promote mastery of knowledge and skills, and help students make connections between their studies and their future plans.
Actively engaging students through pedagogical practices that promote an in-depth understanding of course content is essential to an enhanced student learning experience. The Effective Teaching Practices content area captures the extent to which instructors emphasize student comprehension and learning with clear expectations and organization, use illustrative examples, and provide formative and effective feedback.
College environments characterized by positive interpersonal relations promote student learning and success. Students who enjoy supportive relationships with peers, advisors, faculty, and staff are better able to find assistance when needed, and to learn from and with those around them. This content area captures faculty’s perceptions of the quality of students’ interactions with faculty, staff, and other students. This document provides basic findings for the FSSE Scale Quality of Interactions and its individual component items.
Providing students with opportunities and support across a variety of domains including the cognitive, interpersonal, and physical, is a trait of institutions committed to student success. Instructors are able to give insight into the extent to which institutions emphasize services and activities that support student learning and development.
FSSE Topical Modules
This module—new in 2017—examines environments, processes, and activities that engage and validate cultural diversity and promote greater understanding of societal differences. Questions explore faculty use of inclusive teaching practices and intercultural learning; perceptions of institutional values and commitment regarding diversity; and opportunities for diversity-related programming and coursework. The module replaces the Experiences with Diverse Perspectives module (available from 2013-2016). This document provides basic findings for the Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity (ICD) Topical Module scales and its individual component items.
This module-the result of an ongoing collaboration between NSSE and the Council of Writing Program Administrators-touches on three aspects of good writing assignments: interactivity, meaning making, and clarity. The module complements questions on the core survey about how much writing students are assigned, the nature of course assignments, and emphasis on developing written expression. This document provides basic findings for the Experiences with Writing (fWRI) Topical Module scales and its individual component items.
This module asks about both institution-supported and faculty-driven assessment efforts such as surveys and other tools (e.g., portfolios) that are used to gather information about student educational experiences and learning. The module complements questions on the core FSSE survey on how faculty spend their time and the extent that faculty use effective teaching practices.
This module asks about aspects of professional development for teaching such as how important it is for faculty to receive assistance in various areas, and how often they participate in different professional development activities and practices. The module complements questions on the core FSSE survey asking how much time faculty spend working to improve their teaching and the extent to which they display effective teaching practices. This document provides basic findings for the Teaching Professional Development (TPD) Topical Module scales and its individual component items.
FSSE Additional Summaries
This set of items examined here, administered during the 2019 Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) administration, examines stressors, mental health, and wellness of faculty. Questions explored how difficult work responsibilities or personal life matters were for faculty; if feelings of stress, depression or anxiety were interfering with their ability to succeed; and how many days in a week do they wake up feeling rested. This document outlines basic findings for the wellness item question set and its individual component items.
During the 2019 administration of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), new and existing questions related to high impact practices were administered to faculty. Questions explored if faculty had or would participate in supervising, mentoring, or teaching undergraduate students in learning communities; if faculty supervised undergraduate students partaking in study abroad; and, if faculty had mentored or taught undergraduates completing a culminating senior experience (capstone, thesis, etc.). Faculty were also asked how important it was to them that an undergraduate student partake in these opportunities. The document below provides findings for the High-Impact Practice items.