Promotion effort ups student participation in engagement survey

A campaign to increase participation of UWindsor students in the National Survey of Student Engagement helped to double this year’s response rate over the last survey.

The survey is held every three years, asking undergraduate students in their first and final years to share their experiences in and out of class, as well as their opinions on what works — and what needs work. This year, more than 58 per cent of eligible UWindsor students responded, just about double the 2014 response rate.

Increasing the numbers taking part provides more accurate data, enabling the University to better respond to concerns, says provost Douglas Kneale.

“The data we receive will give us a more detailed picture of the student experience across all faculties,” he says. “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.”

He credits a sustained effort to encourage students to fill in the survey. A team headed up by associate vice-president academic Jeff Berryman took a multi-pronged promotional approach: posting advertisements across the campus, speaking to classes and academic councils, engaging faculty and staff, working with student organizers, enabling easy survey access through Blackboard, and offering a $5 coffee gift card as an incentive for completing the survey.

The actual results were much higher than Berryman’s target of 50 per cent participation.

“I would like to express sincere gratitude to everyone who helped with this initiative,” he says. “Thanks for your invaluable assistance in making the most of this opportunity to learn from our students.”