National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE survey)

The NSSE survey, launched in 2000 and updated in 2013, assesses the extent to which students engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. The instrument is administered annually in the United States and Canada, as well as in various other countries across the globe.

The NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) reports on 10 Engagement Indicators calculated from 47 core NSSE items to represent the multiple dimensions of student engagement. The indicators are grouped within four themes (adapted from the former NSSE Benchmarks). In a separate report, NSSE also provides results on six High-Impact Practices aptly named for their positive associations with student learning and retention.

Engagement Indicators Engagement Indicators (EIs) provide valuable information about distinct aspects of student engagement by summarizing students’ responses to sets of related survey questions. (Component items are listed on the next page.)

Engagement Indicators

Academic Challenge: Higher-Order Learning, Reflective & Integrative Learning, Learning Strategies,
Quantitative Reasoning
Learning with Peers: Collaborative Learning, Discussions with Diverse Others.
Experiences with Faculty: Student-Faculty Interaction, Effective Teaching Practices.
Campus Environment: Quality of Interactions, Supportive Environment.

The EIs and component items were rigorously tested qualitatively and quantitatively in a multi-year effort that included student focus groups, cognitive interviews, and two years of pilot testing and analysis. As a result, each EI provides valuable, concise, actionable information about a distinct aspect of student engagement.
Descriptions and component items of all Engagement Indicators are below, or download this one-page handout for easy reference.

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