Using NSSE to understand student success: A multi-year analysis
Fiorini, S., Shepard, L, Liu, T., & Ouimet, J.
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, 2014.
This research focuses on using NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) responses to predict student academic success. The analysis is based on 16,630 Indiana University Bloomington first-year beginner students and seniors who completed the NSSE survey administered from 2006 to 2012. Logistic regression and linear regression on student background and pre-college information, financial aid, previous college academic performance, NSSE Benchmarks and individual NSSE items were conducted to predict academic success defined as: 1) first-year students‘ fall-to-fall retention and end-of-first-year cumulative GPA, 2) seniors number of terms taken to degree completion and 4-year graduation. Results show that certain student characteristics and earlier achievement are indicative of college success with higher levels of student engagement marginally contributing to the models. Analyses also highlighted elements of engagement that go counter to their expected effect on retention and performance.
NSSE benchmarks and institutional outcomes: A note on the importance of considering the intended uses of a measure in validity studies
Research in Higher Education, 54(2), 149–170, 2013.
Surveys play a prominent role in assessment and institutional research, and the NSSE College Student Report is one of the most popular surveys of enrolled undergraduates. Recent studies have raised questions about the validity of the NSSE survey. Although these studies have themselves been criticized, documenting the validity of an instrument requires an affirmative finding regarding the adequacy and appropriateness of score interpretation and use. Using national data from NSSE 2008, the present study found that the NSSE benchmarks provided dependable means for 50 or more students and were significantly related to important institutional outcomes such as retention and graduation rates.
Investigating social desirability bias in student self-report surveys
Miller, A. L.
Educational Research Quarterly, 36(1), 30-47, 2012.
The frequent use of student self-report surveys in higher education calls into question the possibility of social desirability having an unwanted influence on responses. This research explores the potential presence of social desirability bias with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), a widely used assessment of student behaviors. Correlations between a short social desirability scale and NSSE benchmarks, subscales, and selected items suggest that the majority of scores have no significant relationship with a measure of social desirability. A series of regression models controlling for demographic variables produce similar results. Effect sizes and estimates of explained variance are also discussed.
How effective are the NSSE benchmarks in predicting important educational outcomes?
Pascarella, E. T., Seifert, T. A., & Blaich, C.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Education, 42(1), 16–22, 2010.
Pursuant to a subcontract from the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College, the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa analyzed institution-level data from the first year of the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education to estimate the validity of the NSSE benchmarks in predicting seven traits and skills thought to be the outcomes of a general liberal arts education. Our study measured those outcomes directly; it also addressed the limitations of past research on the NSSE by using a longitudinal pre-test-post-test approach. No other investigation of which we are aware provides such a comprehensive validation of the NSSE benchmark scales.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and their engagement in educationally purposeful activities in college
Gonyea, R. M., & Moore, J. V.
Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, 2007, November.
Three research questions guided this study: 1. What are the demographic and enrollment characteristics of GLBT students attending four year colleges? 2. What is the relationship of GLBT status to student engagement as represented by the NSSE benchmarks of effective educational practice? 3. Do GLBT students who are more open to others about their sexual orientation differ from those who are less open?
The institutional quality debate: U.S. News quality indicators and the National Survey of Student Engagement
Sarraf , S. A., Kuh, G. D., Hayek, J., Kandiko, C., Padgett, R., & Harris, K.
Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Philadelphia , PA, 2005, November.
This study explores the relationship between two commonly accepted measures of institutional quality – USNWR ranking indicators and NSSE‘s benchmarks of effective educational practice. More specifically, this study will explore the proportion of total variation in NSSE benchmark scores that can be explained at the student and institution level, what proportion can be explained by USNWR indicators of institutional quality, and, lastly, how individual USNWR variables such as peer academic reputation, retention and graduation performance, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving relate to NSSE benchmarks.
Measuring quality: A comparison of U.S. News rankings and NSSE benchmarks
Pike, G. R.
Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Tampa, FL., 2003, May.
NSSE Engagement Indicators: A conversation about transition and use
BrckaLorenz, A., & Gonyea, R.
Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Long Beach, CA, 2013, May.
With the update to the National Survey of Student Engagement instrument in 2013, new measures of engagement were rigorously tested to replace the historic Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice. Participants discuss and compare the overall content of these new Engagement Indicators to see how the updated content has been added, retained, or rearranged from the benchmarks. Participants discuss the challenge of longitudinal comparability of individual questions and indicators, and learn new ways to evaluate longitudinal questions. Discussion focuses on three questions: What are the compositions and properties of NSSE‘s new Engagement Indicators? How do the Engagement Indicators relate to the NSSE Benchmarks? How can institutions transition between using these two measures of engagement?
Assessing general education learning outcomes: NSSE benchmarks and institutional practice
AAC&U General Education & Assessment Conference, Boston, MA, 2008, February.
Improvement in Student Engagement Over Time
In Assessment for improvement: Tracking student engagement over time—Annual results 2009, 12 - 14.
In Exploring different dimensions of student engagement—2005 annual survey results, 18.
Benefits of Benchmarks
In Improving the college experience: National benchmarks of effective educational practice—NSSE 2001 report, 12.
A conversation with the director: If it isn't broken, make it better!
Alex McCormick, Director
September 26, 2014.
Need more answers about NSSE 2013?
Jillian Kinzie, NSSE Associate Director, and Allison BrckaLorenz, FSSE Project Manager and NSSE Research Analyst
December 4, 2012.
Beyond NSSE Benchmarks: Under-used nuggets of effective educational practice
March 24, 2009.