2009 NSSE and FSSE Results: Comparing classroom learning activities among faculty and students

SPSS Syntax: Course-Based data

SPSS Syntax: Typical-Student data

 

The FSSE Course-Based survey option asks faculty members how important it is for students in their selected course section to 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.

Course-Based
The illustrations below offer a comparison among faculty and student respondents about the value for and level of engagement in various learning activities. In particular, bar chart 1 identifies the percentage of faculty teaching lower division courses who consider following the learning activities as ‘important’ or ‘very important.’ Bar chart 2, on the other hand, highlights the percentage of first-year students who responded as frequently (‘often’ or ‘very often’) participating in the same activities.

Bar chart 1: Percentage of faculty teaching lower division courses who consider the selected learning activities as ‘Important’ or ‘Very important’

Bar chart 2: Percentage of first-year students who report frequently participating in the selected learning activities

Typical-Student
A variation of the same survey items is asked on the Typical-Student version of FSSE. Rather than asking how much they valued each learning activity, the typical-student version asks faculty to estimate how frequently the typical first-year student did the selected learning activity. Since items on the typical-student version are similarly worded as NSSE, faculty and student responses can be compared on the same illustration.    
In general results suggest faculty tend to underestimate how many first-year students are frequently doing these activities. For example, only 50% of faculty report the typical first-year student they teach frequently integrates ideas from various sources while working on a paper or project whereas 80% of first-year students who responded to the same question on NSSE claim doing so.
Stark differences are also found among the other two learning activities particularly for preparing two or more drafts before turning in an assignment.  Only 22% of faculty believe this to be true of the typical first-student they teach; however, nearly two-thirds of the same level of students report engaging in this activity frequently.

Bar chart 3: Percentage of faculty who believe first-year student do selected learning activities frequently by percentage of first-year students who report frequently participating in the same learning activities