Posting Survey Links

Using Student Portals & Learning Management Systems for NSSE Recruitment

Though NSSE primarily recruits students to participate by way of email messages containing survey links, institutions can also elect to post unique survey links to student portal and learning management systems (SP/LMS), such as Blackboard and Moodle. Students still receive up to five recruitment messages but have the opportunity to complete NSSE through their SP/LMS as well.

A randomized experiment with several NSSE 2016 institutions found that posting survey links can significantly boost response rates for some institutions. Given this finding, NSSE encourages all institutions to try posting links at least once to see if it benefits their survey administration. For more details about the experiment, see our NSSE webinar (and related slides).

The following examples demonstrate how various institutions have harnessed their SP/LMS. Along with providing a visual snapshot and description of how each institution programmed their SP/LMS, we also include the percentage of respondents who accessed NSSE using a SP/LMS as opposed to traditional email recruitment messages.

NSSE staff do not have any specific technical expertise to offer institutions interested in posting survey links. Participating institutions needing more information should visit our technical advice page for guidance from other institutions or contact their Project Services team for assistance with locating other institutions willing to provide technical advice. 

All institutions reflected on this page provided permission to use their information for educational purposes.

Student Portal/LMS: Blackboard

Description: Invitation text and link visible at top of LMS homepage.

Survey link usage: 13% of NSSE 2015 respondents

Student Portal/LMS: FOLIO

Description: Upon logging in, students only saw the NSSE recruitment message with the embedded survey link. They could click on either a link to complete the survey or a button to bypass the survey page and go to the standard homepage (where another less conspicuous NSSE link could be found for taking the survey at a later date). If students chose to bypass the survey, the initial screen would not appear again the next time students logged in.

Survey link usage: 46% of NSSE 2015 respondents

Student Portal/LMS: Web interface to Banner

Description: A NSSE reminder screen was the first thing students saw upon login. Once students clicked the "Go To My Survey" button, a more detailed recruitment message with the actual survey link could be seen. After completing the survey, the reminder screen no longer appeared.

Survey link usage: 73% of respondents

Student Portal/LMS: Jenzabar

Description: Survey text placed in banner near top of homepage. Once students clicked text, they saw the unique survey link and recruitment message text.

Survey link usage: 52% of NSSE 2015 respondents

Student Portal/LMS: In-house portal system

Description: A link to the survey appeared in the "Notifications" section of the student portal. Once students clicked the link, a pop-up screen appeared with the unique survey link and recruitment message text, e.g., incentive information and institutional contact details.

Survey link usage: 28% of NSSE 2015 respondents

tudent Portal/LMS: PeopleSoft

Description: A prominent NSSE section created for home page, including links for the invitation to participate, the list of incentives, and the actual survey.

Survey link usage: 26% of NSSE 2015 respondents

Student Portal/LMS: Ellucian Luminis

Description: A prominent NSSE image created for home page, linking students to the survey.

Survey link usage: 47% of NSSE 2015 respondents

Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education

Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University School of Education
201 N. Rose Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-1006
Phone: 812.856.5824