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National Survey of Student Engagement: Pathways to Collegiate Success. 2004 Annual Survey Results.

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National Survey of Student Engagement: Pathways to Collegiate Success

2004 Annual Survey Results


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The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) documents dimensions of quality in undergraduate education and provides information and assistance to colleges, universities, and other organizations to improve student learning.


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It’s primary activity is annually surveying college students to assess the extent to which they engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development.


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NSSE 2004 students to assess the extent to which they engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development.

  • Fifth conducted report

  • 160,000 first-year and senior students randomly sampled from 470 institutions

  • Objectives

    • Provide data to colleges and universities to use for improving undergraduate education, inform state accountability and accreditation efforts, and facilitate national and sector bench-marking efforts, among others


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NSSE 2004- Findings students to assess the extent to which they engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development.

  • Selected results

  • Promising findings

  • Disappointing findings

  • Other key findings

  • Faculty Survey of Student Engagement


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When faculty members expect students to study more and arrange class toward this end, students do so

Students at historically Black colleges are more likely to participate in community service related to a course and report gaining more in personal, social, and ethical development

Selected Findings


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Selected Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Students who engage in “deep” learning activities report greater educational and personal gains from college, participate in more enriching educational experiences, perceive campus to be supportive, and are more satisfied overall with college


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Promising Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so

Since 2000, some aspects of the student experience have improved. For example, today more seniors:

  • Participate in service learning (+7%)

  • Have serious conversations with students with different social, political, and religious views (+10%)

  • Perceive their campus to be helpful, considerate, and flexible (+15%)


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Promising Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so

Some findings for all students:

  • About 9 of 10 students rate their college experience as “good” or “excellent” and 82% would “probably” or “definitely” attend the same school if they were starting school again

  • Four-fifths of fraternity and sorority members participate in a fundraising event compared with only 43% of non-Greek students


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Promising Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Three-fifths of seniors and 37% of first-year students do community service or volunteer work

  • About half of non-denominational college students say that their institution substantially (“very much” or “quite a bit”) contributes to their development of a deepened sense of spirituality compared with only 19% of the students at public institutions


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Disappointing Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Only one-tenth of students rely on newspapers or magazines as their primary source of local, national, or international news; more than half say television is their primary source

  • Two-fifths of first-year students and a quarter of seniors “never” discuss ideas from their classes or readings with a faculty member outside of class


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Disappointing Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • One-fifth of all students spend no time exercising

  • More than a quarter of all students have “never” attended an art exhibit, gallery, play, dance, or other theater performance during the current school year


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Other Key Findings arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Time on Task arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Time preparing for class, co-curricular activities, and on-campus work are all positively related to educational and spiritual growth

  • Only 11% of full-time students spend 25 hours per week preparing for class (as professors recommend). Two-fifths spend 10 hours or less on class preparation per week.


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Time on Task arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • More than half of part-time students work off-campus 20+ hours per week

  • About 19% of seniors spend 11+ hours per week caring for dependents

  • A quarter of students spend 16+ hours per week relaxing and socializing- 8% spend more than 25 hours


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Time on Task arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Living Arrangements arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Forty-five percent of students live in campus housing (68% of first-years, 22% of seniors)

  • The remainder live within driving distance (41%), walking distance (13%), or in a fraternity or sorority house (1%)

  • Twelve percent of men and 10% of women are members of a fraternity or a sorority


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Grades arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • About two-fifths of all students reported that they earned mostly A grades

  • Another 41% reported grades of either a B or B+

  • Only 3% of students reported Cs or lower


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Parental Education arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Thirty-four percent of NSSE respondents are first-generation college students

  • Thirty-seven percent have parents who both graduated from college

  • Twenty-two percent have master’s degrees

  • Seven percent have parents with doctoral degrees


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Multiple Institutions arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Approximately 36% of students attended one or more “other institutions” in addition to the one in which they are currently enrolled

  • Of this group, 25% went to another four-year college, 36% to a community college, 7% to a vocational school, 6% to another form of post-secondary education, and 25% went to a combination of these


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College Activities arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • A “substantial amount” of engagement is defined to be at least 50% of all students reporting “often” or “very often”


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College Activities arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • The least frequent activities are those where the percentage of students responding “never” exceeds 35%


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Educational and Personal Growth arrange class toward this end, students do so

Self-reported Educational and Personal Gains from College


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Enriching Educational Experiences arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • On balance, African Americans, foreign nationals, fraternity or sorority members, and varsity athletes are more likely to participate in one or more enriching activity

  • Older students, Asian/Pacific Islanders, students of Hispanic origin, first-generation students, part-time students, transfers, and commuters are less likely than their counterparts to participate in one or more of these activities


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Enriching Educational Experiences arrange class toward this end, students do so

Likelihood of Participating in Educationally Engaging Experiences


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Enriching Educational Experiences arrange class toward this end, students do so

Likelihood of Participating in Educationally Engaging Experiences


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Art, Wellness, & Spirituality arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Fine and performance arts

    • Approximately 25% of students frequently attend plays, art exhibits, gallery, dance, or theater performance, and 25-30% of students never attend these events

    • Frequency of attendance was positively correlated with the student’s perceived emphasis of these events on campus, and negatively correlated with the number of hours students worked off-campus, provided for dependents, and commuted to class


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Art, Wellness, & Spirituality arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Fine and performancearts

  • Percentage of students who attended a fine or performing arts event during their school year


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Art, Wellness, & Spirituality arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Exercise and physical fitness

    • Over fifty percent of students frequently exercised or performed physical fitness, though about 20% of students never engaged in these activities throughout the school year

    • Activity varied by the kind of institution, with two-thirds of students participating in exercise at liberal arts schools, and half participating at doctoral institutions


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Art, Wellness, & Spirituality arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Exercise and physical fitness

  • Percent of students who exercised during their previous school year


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Spiritual Activity and Spiritual Development arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • One-third of students frequently engaged in activities to enhance spirituality, though 42% never participated in these activities

  • Students at denominational institutions were more likely to engage in spiritual activities (~42%) than those at non-denominational institutions (~26%), though about one-fourth of students at denominational institutions responded that they “never” attended these activities


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Spiritual Activity and Spiritual Development arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • About one-third of students reported that their experience in college contributed “quite a bit” or “very much” to their spirituality

  • Attending a denominational institution or participating in spiritual activities increased this effect


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Spirituality and Spiritual Development arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Approximately 113,000 students from 449 institutions also answered questions regarding their involvement in politics and community issues

  • 54% of males and 46% of females stated that they at least “sometimes” expressed their opinions about political issues in a public forum


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • 93% of students used one or more media source to stay informed about political or community issues

  • Newspapers and magazines are the primary source of national and international news for only 10% of students

  • More than one-fourth of students participated in a rally, vigil, or protest


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • 22% of first-year students and 30% of seniors led meetings or activities for groups or organizations

  • Students at liberal arts colleges were more likely to participate in these activities than those at other schools

  • Students who reported higher levels of civic engagement, also reported that their college experience contributed more to their knowledge about voting in local, state, or national elections and contributing to the welfare of their community


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • American Democracy Project (ADP)

    • The ADP was developed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the New York Times to learn more about increasing civic engagement by students

    • Approximately 12,000 students at 32 AASCU schools responded to an additional 18 civic engagement questions


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • The vast majority considered the environment, health care, and human rights to be at least “somewhat” important

  • Women students considered religion, healthcare, safety/security, and civil rights to be more important than men do


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • About 25% of first-year students and 37% of seniors have voted in an election either on- or off-campus

  • Only about 10% had contacted public officials about an issue; and less than 10% had organized a petition, volunteered for a political campaign, or ran for an elected position


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Percent of students responding to

  • civic engagement experimental

  • items


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Civic Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Deep Learning arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Students are capable of more than traditional pedagogical methods can tap

  • Deep learning allows for a more complete learning experience

  • Three types of deep learning

    • Higher-order learning

    • Integrative learning

    • Reflective learning


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Deep Learning- examples arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Deep Learning arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Students who scored higher on deep learning:

    • Gained more in general education, practical knowledge and skills, and personal/social development

    • Participated more often in enriching educational activities

    • Perceived their campus as more supportive of their academic and social needs

    • Were more satisfied with their overall educational experience

    • Seniors, full-time students, those at liberal arts colleges, as well as those majoring in arts, humanities, and social sciences

    • Students scoring higher on deep learning also made better use of their time, with more time spent on schoolwork, at jobs, participating in co-curricular activities and less time socializing


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Deep Learning arrange class toward this end, students do so

Time Spent per Week in Selected Activities by Deep Learning Quartile


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Designed to complement the NSSE, the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) measures faculty priorities and expectations of students

  • As it turns out, faculty and students disagree on several issues regarding their classroom experiences


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Class preparation

    • Students spend about half as much time studying as instructors expect (3 hours per class per week, vs. the 6 hours expected)

    • Faculty in physical sciences, engineering, biological sciences expect more time per class, and students actually do spend more time on those courses


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • How faculty spend class time

    • Sciences and engineering report more time (59%) lecturing, while education faculty spend the least time lecturing (25%)

    • There is little difference in time spent lecturing based on course level overall, though in the social sciences, more time is spent lecturing in lower level courses (53%) than higher level courses (44%)


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Education faculty devote more time to small groups than other disciplines

  • Biological/life sciences faculty spend about one-fourth of class time to experiential activities, which include labs and field work


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so

  • Full-time versus part-time faculty

    • Part-time faculty expect students to study about one hour less than full-time faculty, five hours vs. six hours, respectively

    • Part-time faculty expect that students spend less than 3 hours studying for their courses, while full-time faculty expect their students to spend 3.5 hours per week on their classes

    • Full-time faculty spend less time on small group activities and more time lecturing than part-time faculty


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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement arrange class toward this end, students do so


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