Using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Results at Multiple Levels to Improve the Student Experience

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) provides WSU valuable data for UCORE Assessment, as well as undergraduate academic degree programs, departments, colleges, campuses and the university, by providing information about the student perspective to help continually improve the learning experience for students. WSU students’ NSSE responses have also helped the university understand what is going well in terms of student engagement, and areas that could improve.

Every two years, WSU participates in the NSSE survey to help assess student engagement in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. NSSE provides participating institutions with a variety of reports — WSU’s current and historic NSSE results are available on the WSU Institutional Research website. NSSE results are also disaggregated for undergraduate academic degree programs and colleges, contact the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) for more information.

Use of Assessment. WSU’s NSSE results have helped build learning communities that bridge classes and residence halls, broaden high-impact undergraduate research opportunities with mentoring faculty, and expand student services. For example:

  • The freshman focus and common reading programs were created to provide premier community-building academic experiences for first-year students.
  • Distance-degree programs added virtual mentors to help build a sense of community in classes.
  • WSU Vancouver developed a convenient, one-stop approach to student support services.

“Students’ answers to NSSE questions have led the university to create support for undergraduate research, more support for internships and more study abroad opportunities, for example,” said Mary F. Wack, WSU vice provost for undergraduate education.

Assessment results inform continual reflection and discussion of teaching and learning; they contribute to decision making to ensure effective teaching and learning. Decisions can include choosing to make changes, continue current effective practices, or build on strengths.

For additional information about how student learning evidence contributes to decision making intended to support student learning and quality undergraduate education, see Use of Student Learning Evidence. See Key Assessments for additional information about the National Survey of Student Engagement.