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- Essential Studies USAT (end-of-course evaluations) forms
- First-Year Experiences (FYEs)
- Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)
- National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
- Sophomore Satisfaction Survey (SSS)
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is one of the most important student surveys that UND conducts. First-year and senior students are asked to participate. What have faculty and administrators at UND learned about students from the most recent NSSE survey?
- Students say they feel supported at UND and that UND cares about their success. Most students would attend UND again if they could start over.
- On the other hand, UND could improve on providing certain kinds of learning activities that are known to have an especially high impact on student learning. For example, it would be good to have more students doing internships, traveling abroad, and working on independent research projects under the direction of faculty. Students at other universities are taking advantage of these opportunities more often than students at UND. These types of experiences make you more competitive for jobs, so take the extra initiative to participate in them.
- NSSE includes a great deal more information, including answers to questions broken down by college. If you would like to learn more about how students in your college score on NSSE questions, go to this web link:
What do student responses to the end-of-course evaluation form questions about Essential Studies tell their faculty about the program?
• Most student respondents in 2011-12 believed they were improving on the Essential Studies skills, especially in the area of critical thinking.
• Students in Social Science classes saw themselves learning a great deal about Social-Cultural Diversity.
• A number of students scored their learning of ES skills at the top level of 4.0 (on a 1.0-4.0 scale), although 3.0 was the mostly commonly selected score.
For more information, please see the charts of scores at this website: http://und.edu/research/institutional-research/_files/docs/usat/ess-summary.pdf
Sophomores surveyed in the Sophomore Satisfaction Survey provided information about what they're learning and how they're spending their time. Two examples are as follows:
• 69% of sophomores report spending less than 10 hours per week watching TV, contrary to the stereotype sometimes portrayed in books or movies.
• When asked how much their UND experience has contributed to their learning, students reported gains in many areas – but the biggest gain was in developing skills for learning on their own.
Read more by clicking on the full report, which you'll find at this web address: http://und.edu/research/institutional-research/surveys/soph-2012.cfm
UND surveys faculty as well as students! Here's what we learned in the recent Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (complete survey can be found at this link: http://und.edu/research/institutional-research/surveys/2011-fsse.cfm)
• Faculty, generally, place a high level of importance on students having the kinds of learning experiences that are often described as "high impact educational practices" because they are known to have an especially positive impact on student learning. These include activities such as community service/volunteer work; internship, co-op or clinical experiences; research with a faculty member; study abroad; and, senior capstone experiences.
• That said, with the exception of service/volunteer work, the numbers of seniors completing these high impact activities or planning to complete them are lower than faculty would like to see. Study abroad in particular has low participation, as does undergraduate research with a faculty member. As UND improves on providing these high-impact learning activities, take the extra initiative to participate in them - these types of experiences make you more competitive for jobs.
• UND faculty are organizing their courses so that students develop critical and analytical thinking/problem-solving skills. Over three-quarters of UND faculty members indicate that much of that kind of learning and skill development occurs now in classrooms that emphasize active, student-directed, small group learning during class (classes no longer involve simply sitting in lecture). Faculty call this the "flipped classroom" – and it's good for student learning.
UND offers a variety of (optional) First-Year Experiences (FYEs) for students starting college. Among the opportunities currently available are First-year Seminars, Introduction to University Life courses, the Integrated Studies Program, the first-year components of the Honors Program, and a living/learning community sponsored by the College of Engineering and Mines. We've used surveys to find out how these are working from the perspective of students taking part. Here's some of what we've learned.
• Students reported that they expected to be "more engaged in academically important activities" in their first year of college than they actually were.
• Those taking FYE courses said that their experiences in those courses helped them to be more reflective about their own learning.
• About 75% of the students in the First-Year Seminars felt they engaged in activities that promoted "active and collaborative" learning. This is a kind of learning that's often described as "high-impact" because it makes such a big difference in a student's academic success. So that's good news for those taking the seminars, and good news for UND.