Alex McCormick, Senior Associate Director of the Center for Postsecondary Research and Director of the National Survey of Student Engagement, recently held a webinar hosted by Ad Astra's Astra Academy providing an overview of student engagement and the NSSE project. He revealed practices related to desired educational outcomes and how engagement and study time related to retention and graduation.
The National Survey for Student Engagement was developed nearly 20 years ago and continues to be a leading instrument in helping institutions capture their students' experience. 517,850 students completed the survey in 2017 providing data to better college and university campuses. NSSE measures indicators of student engagement encompassing student-faculty interaction, discussions with diverse others, and higher-order learning to name a few. Additionally, the survey gathers data about students' intent to, and participation in, high impact practices. Experiences such as studying abroad, culminating senior experiences, and learning communities have shown to be positively associated with student learning and retention.
McCormick discussed the main tenet of student engagement defined by the time and effort students put forth toward their collegiate experiences as well as how and where students allocate time. He described that engagement entails providing students with challenging learning environments, enriching activities, and quality interactions with faculty. McCormick showed how NSSE data demonstrated a positive correlation between collaborative learning and graduation. Regarding engagement, he showed evidence that "the payoff is higher for underprepared students and students of color." Lastly, McCormick presented differences in hours spent preparing for classes by major, which could have implications on student success.
View the webinar here.