March 2021 OPA Blog
2021 NSSE Response Rate – The First Month
Texas Tech has enjoyed a great start to the National Survey of Student Engagement for 2021. As we near the end of March, the NSSE response rate continues to exceed the national average in our university size category by 5 percentage points. As of Monday, March 29th, Texas Tech has a NSSE response rate of 18% with 2,337 completions and 609 partials, resulting in 2,946 responses out of 16,356 total invitations. To put that into perspective, by the end of the survey window in May of 2019, the final NSSE response rate was 9.8% with 1,614 responses out of 16,359 total invitations. That means we have surpassed our 2019 response rate by more than 8 percentage points and 1,332 responses, just within the first month. Some possible reasons for the great response rate for 2021 include a direct email from President Schovanec inviting students to participate in the NSSE, quality incentives including TTU branded backpacks and sports balls, a highly visible Blackboard reminder created by Eesysoft, and consistent email reminders to students every two weeks through NSSE.
Major NSSE Components
With a healthy sample size comes higher quality data, giving us insight into student experience and how the university can help improve those experiences. At a high level, the NSSE examines Engagement Indicators, which measure a student's engagement with academic challenges, learning with peers, experiences with faculty, and overall campus environment. It also examines High-Impact Practices, which require considerable time and effort, learning outside of the classroom, and encourage collaboration with others. Some examples of High-Impact Practices include service-learning, research with faculty, internship or field experience, and study abroad. Overall, the NSSE asks over 40 questions, sometimes with multiples sections, and include several demographic questions and comment sections as well.
Universities also have the option to include Topical Modules in the NSSE. For 2021, Texas Tech selected two modules: Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity and First-Year Experiences and Senior Transitions. Each of these modules provides additional data that are valuable to departments and colleges, as well as non-academic offices.
NSSE Data and Reports
While knowing is half the battle, the NSSE provides an excellent opportunity to use rich and comprehensive data to enhance student experiences. These data can be used by everyone at Texas Tech, from individual faculty, advising, departments, and colleges, to non-academic offices, university leadership, and even potential students and their families. On the Office of Planning and Assessment webpage, we share the NSSE Frequencies and Statistical Comparisons report after every administered survey. This report includes the entire list of questionnaire items on the NSSE, how Texas Tech students responded to those questions, and how those response data compare to other Southwestern public universities, other Carnegie R1 universities, and all participating universities from the current and prior year.
Additionally, NSSE provides Texas Tech with several other useful reports and raw data that can be utilized in a variety of contexts to meet specific or general needs. NSSE also provides a public report builder where you can view reports with filters and groupings, as well as several articles on how other universities have used NSSE data in specific ways. While we wait for 2021 NSSE data to be compiled and reported back to Texas Tech, OPA has data and reports from previously administered surveys. We are available to advise individuals and groups on what the data means and how to put it to work.