NSSE constantly searches for ways to meet institutional needs for new assessment data as well as to improve data quality. For NSSE 2023, we are excited to announce that two experiments with a small handful of institutions will be conducted in order to advance these goals.
Experiment 1: Customizable Modules
NSSE currently offers 10 topical modules of which institutions may choose up to two to supplement the standard NSSE survey instrument. Topical modules cover content ranging from academic advising to career and workforce preparation. In recent years, though, NSSE has received requests from institutions to customize their own modules, targeting their specific institutional needs.
This experiment would give several institutions the opportunity to append their own customized module. Institutions will be (1) recruited from institutions that have registered for NSSE 2023 by October 7, (2) expected to submit their module questions for review by November 7 (with a rationale for their items), and (3) notified of their status by mid-November.
Customized modules can either include up to 10 survey questions using standard question formats (our Basic option) or up to 20 survey questions with fewer survey question format restrictions (our Premium option).
Institutions will receive a dataset of their student responses but will be responsible for developing their own reports. Participation in this experiment will come at no additional charge, however we will ask institutions to estimate how much they would be willing to pay for this service when they submit their proposal.
Experiment 2: A Short Survey for NSSE Non-Responders
NSSE strives to provide institutions new ways to collect as much assessment data as possible. In this spirit, our second experiment aims to better understand the impact of using a shorter version of NSSE with students who never respond to the five customary recruitment emails. It is not uncommon for NSSE respondents to suggest we make the survey shorter, so we hypothesize this survey approach will be effective at gathering additional survey responses.
Rather than use the same survey questions with all students, we will randomly assign non-responders to one of four or five groups of survey questions (or to a control group that receives all survey questions). Each item group of approximately 15 questions will incorporate items from at least two different Engagement Indicators, one question to gauge overall satisfaction, and three or four demographic questions.
Experimental and control groups will receive the same email recruitment messages except for specific information related to the expected number of survey questions and completion time.
As with the first experiment, recruitment for this experiment would start in early October and end in early November. It would also be free of charge.
More detailed information for both experiments will be sent to all NSSE 2023 registered institutions in early October. Questions and feedback about these experiments can be sent to Shimon Sarraf, Asst. Director for Survey Operations and Project Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.