NSSE emails five recruitment messages directly to students. Institutions have the opportunity to significantly customize message content using NSSE’s IRB-approved message templates, thereby ensuring that message content and signatory best reflect campus culture.
The individualized survey links sent to students are embedded with unique identifiers for each student in your NSSE population. This allow students to simply click on the link and access the survey directly without supplying additional login information. Manual log in information is also supplied in the message footer so that students can still complete the survey even if they do not feel comfortable clicking on the link in the email.
Additional Messages Sent by Your Campus
Institutions may also send up to three additional recruitment messages, from their own campus using NSSE’s IRB-approved message template, in addition to the messages sent from NSSE. Messages sent by campuses do not include the unique survey links provided in recruitment messages sent by NSSE; instead, students are directed to visit nssesurvey.org where they can manually login using an easy, one-step verification process. Institutions that send additional messages are responsible for all aspects of the mailing (i.e., deciding when to send messages, determining their purpose, etc.). Some reasons an institution may choose to send an additional message(s) include:
- Pre-survey announcement: Many institutions may benefit from notifying the campus community about NSSE prior to the start of data collection. A pre-survey announcement can introduce students to NSSE and, importantly, provide rationale for why student participation is important. Importantly, since NSSE’s emails will be sent from an email address external to other campus communications, it can be beneficial to use the pre-survey announcement to specify details students should expect, such as the sending “from” name (NSSE), the sending email address (email@example.com), and the expected dates of delivery. This may be especially helpful on campuses with anti-phishing campaigns that warn students to be wary of communications from external senders. A pre-survey announcement gives you the opportunity to establish NSSE’s legitimacy in advance of data collection.
- Boosting response rates: Institutions that experience lower response rates than desired may choose to send additional messages to increase the number of total respondents. Messages may be sent at any time prior to the May closing of the online survey.
- Targeting special populations: Additional messages may be sent to all non-respondents, or to only those that are currently underrepresented in respondent count. For example, if your senior response rate is satisfactory but first-year student response rate lags behind, additional messages may be sent to only first-year non-respondents.
NSSE’s Institution Interface, the password-protected online portal used to manage the NSSE administration by campus contacts, provides a download of your student population file, along with survey dispositions. You can use this file to prepare your mailing list for additional messages.