2007 Comparing NSSE and FSSE Results

Classroom Practices: Faculty values and student experiences

Download SPSS Syntax for Course-based
Download SPSS Syntax for Typical Student

The FSSE Course-Based survey option asks faculty members how important they believe students in their selected course section participate in certain classroom practices, such as preparing two or more drafts before turning in an assignment or working with others outside of class. Similarly, NSSE asks students to indicate how frequently they participate in the same activities.

The graph below compares faculty members who teach or have taught a lower division course section to first-year students. In particular, it illustrates the percentage of faculty who believe a certain activity is ‘important or very important’ to students who participate in the same activities ‘often or very often.’

A little over a majority of first-year students (55%) report they frequently prepare two or more drafts of a paper before turning it in and frequently work with classmates outside of class to prepare an assignment. However, less than half of faculty who teach lower division courses believe the same classroom practices are important to very important. Moreover, 77% of students indicate they frequently integrate ideas from various sources on a paper or project, but only 65% of faculty who teach lower division courses believe it is important that students in their class do the same activity.

The Typical Student option of the FSSE survey asks faculty members to respond based on a typical first-year or senior student they teach across all of their courses. Although not course-specific, the typical student version asks faculty how often they believe students in their courses participate in the aforementioned classroom practices.

The illustration below suggests only one-fifth of faculty who teach first-year students believe the typical student they teach frequently prepares two or more drafts of a paper before turning it in, whereas more than half of first-year students who responded to the same question on NSSE claim they do. A similar gap is found among the other two classroom practices.