How CETL Tips: How Engaged Are Our Students? - NSSE as a Tool for Growth and Assessment

In November, CETL sponsored a lunch event for faculty, staff and students where we met to discuss results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Selected NSSE results were highlighted by small groups of staff, faculty, and students to pinpoint some of the places where Clark is excelling and other places where there is still room for growth. The collective conversation focused primarily on aspects of learning at Clark that are particularly notable as areas where we might think that we are doing well–but there is still room for improvement. Rather than offering concrete solutions, the CETL tip for faculty this month aspires to encourage conversation across campus between faculty about the results from the NSSE. How can we use this information to enrich the learning environment we provide for our students?

NSSE - a Tool for Understanding the Institutional Learning Environment

NSSE offers comparative data on student self-reports of how engaged our students are in activities that are known from research to promote learning. NSSE surveys first and fourth year students from colleges and universities nationwide about student participation in learning practices that foster both personal and professional development. "Survey items on The National Survey of Student Engagement represent empirically confirmed ‘good practices' in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college." NSSE can be a useful tool for faculty who want to understand how students perceive the institutional learning climate. It can help us reflect on questions such as what do we value, and how do student reports about our practices measure up to our aims and expectations?

The remainder of this tip is password protected, because it discusses Clark's 2006 NSSE Results.