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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. Its 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. The selected results reported in this report are based on almost 380,000 randomly sampled students attending 722 U.S. baccalaureate-granting institutions who completed NSSE in spring 2008. This report features three themes. The first theme--"Looking Within"--examines the large and often unexamined variation that exists among students, even those attending the same institution. This report shows how little difference actually exists between institutions and illustrates variation among students by way of case studies using real data from two NSSE institutions. Then it analyzes two important current issues, the experiences of transfer students and the engagement of students taking courses delivered primarily online. The second theme--"Promoting Success in the First Year"--draws from the BCSSE (Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement) survey, including the valuable BCSSE-NSSE longitudinal data, and a set of experimental questions about a student's plans to persist at the institution. It also examines the experiences of underprepared students, i.e., those assigned to developmental or basic skills courses in their first year. The third theme--"Writing Matters"--draws on core survey items and a promising new set of questions about the writing process administered experimentally in 2008. While NSSE measures the quantity of student writing, the additional questions assessed the quality of the writing process, including best practices in student writing and in the ways faculty assign and teach writing in their courses. (Contains 10 tables and 12 figures.)

Descriptors: Learner Engagement, National Surveys, Student Surveys, Undergraduate Students, Educational Quality, Differences, Student Characteristics, College Transfer Students, Online Courses, College Freshmen, College Seniors, Academic Persistence, Educationally Disadvantaged, Student Experience, Writing Processes, Best Practices, Writing Assignments, Writing Instruction, Difficulty Level, Active Learning, Cooperative Learning, Teacher Student Relationship, Educational Experience, Educational Environment, Information Utilization, Data, Technical Assistance

National Survey of Student Engagement. Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, 1900 East 10th Street Suite 419, Bloomington, IN 47406. Tel: 812-856-5824; Fax: 812-856-5150; e-mail: nsse[at]; Web site:

Autor: National Survey of Student Engagement


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