Engagement Insights: Survey Findings on the Quality of Undergraduate Education
MANY STUDENTS ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY CHALLENGED TO DO THEIR BEST WORK, AND COURSE CHALLENGE BEARS LITTLE RELATION TO ADMISSION SELECTIVITY, SURVEY FINDS
Findings from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) show 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. Older undergraduates, in particular those taking all of their courses online, were more likely to experience high levels of course challenge. Institutional selectivity was unrelated to the extent of course challenge for first-year students and had a modest negative relationship for seniors, suggesting that selectivity neither assures nor is a prerequisite for this important aspect of educational quality. These results bear on the importance of designing course assignments that prompt students to put forth their best effort.
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