Tracy Chiu, Dominique Baillargeon, and Simram PatelStudents Tracy Chiu, Dominique Baillargeon, and Simram Patel pose at the NSSE photo booth.

Survey response rates skyrocket with two weeks to go in co-ordinated campus campaign

UWindsor students are responding to this year’s National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in unprecedented numbers, says provost Douglas Kneale, who is heading up a participation drive by faculty, staff, and the students themselves.

Every three years, the University invites students in their first and final years to take part in the survey, which is a key chance for them to share their perceptions of what’s happening in and out of class, what engages them, what works — and what needs work.

“The more students who respond, the better chance we have of getting the rich and representative data that enable departments and faculties to pinpoint what’s working, and also areas where they’d like to make changes,” says Dr. Kneale. “The huge improvement in the response rate this time reflects how much students care about the University, and the commitment of faculty and staff to their students.”

Given that NSSE data are also used for external comparisons in national magazines and will soon be used as one measure in the new provincial funding model, getting accurate data is all the more important.

The NSSE awareness campaign has been a campus-wide effort:

  • Faculty and staff have taken the lead in communicating the importance of NSSE to classes, departments and faculties.
  • Information Technology Services and the Blackboard team made it possible for eligible students to access the survey through the learning management system, making the process much more convenient.
  • Institutional Analysis, which oversees the survey process, took on the time-consuming task of making sure that every student who completes the survey receives a $5 Starbucks card, a new incentive adopted this year based on research about what improves response rates most.
  • Student organizations and student teams from Co-op, Career and Employment Services helped with a campus-wide advertising campaign, speaking to classes, communicating with student groups, and hosting events.

A NSSE photo booth event last week will be repeated with free coffee at the Leddy Library on Monday, March 6.

Tony Vo, one of the students working on the campaign, is keen for all eligible students to respond.

“This is a great opportunity for students to have a voice in how they can help with the changes at the University. If students don’t say what makes them happy and what frustrates them, it’s hard for the University to know what is on their minds,” Vo says. “As a student who’s in third year, I don’t have the option to fill out NSSE, so I hope that all first- and fourth-year students will speak for us, and give the University of Windsor a chance to make our Lancer experience the best one yet!”

Jeff Berryman, who is coordinating the NSSE promotional events in the Provost’s Office, has his eye on a 50 per cent response rate.

“With 10 days to go, we’re getting very close,” he says. “I hope everyone will give it one last push to really make our data as representative as possible. I especially hope that faculty with fourth-year students will encourage them to participate.”

For more information about the NSSE, as well as downloadable promotional materials, please visit the provost’s website at The $5 Starbucks incentive campaign ends March 15.