Bringing the Institution into Focus—Annual Results 2014

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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
The report, Bringing the Institution into Focus—Annual Results 2014, details results from more than 355,000 first-year and senior students attending 622 U.S. colleges and universities that participated in NSSE in spring 2014. NSSE’s annual survey provides colleges and universities with rich data about the undergraduate experience to help them improve student learning and success. Other noteworthy findings from the 2014 NSSE survey and its companion surveys, the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), include: • Although African American and Latino students overall reported lower quality of interactions with others (students, faculty, advisors, and other staff) than their white peers, the results revealed an appreciable share of institutions where the difference between groups was absent or reversed. • The number of times first-year students met with an academic advisor was positively related to perceptions of a supportive campus environment, and this holds across racial-ethnic groups. Unfortunately, about one in three first-year students rarely met with an advisor (23% had one meeting, and 9% never saw one).The proportion who rarely sought advice was higher among commuting, nontraditional-aged, and part-time students. • Both first-year students and seniors reported a considerable emphasis by instructors on information literacy skills such as assessing the quality of information sources and properly citing them. But while 74% of first-year students said their instructors emphasized questioning the quality of information sources, only 37% of first-year students and 36% of seniors frequently decided not to use an information source due to quality concerns. • Learning-directed uses of social media were positively related to all of NSSE’s measures of student engagement. The strongest relationships were with reflective and integrative learning, collaborative learning, and student-faculty interaction. • About two in five first-year students and one-third of seniors said social media substantially distracted them from their coursework. • First-year students who earned higher grades than they had expected scored higher on seven of ten engagement indicators compared to students who performed below their expectations. They also spent more time studying and less time working for pay. • On average, faculty devoted more time to teaching activities than to research, service, and advising. Full-time faculty averaged 9 hours per week preparing for their classes, close to 10 hours teaching, and an additional 17 hours on other instructional activities such as grading and meeting with students outside of class. Faculty who devoted more time to teaching improvement had higher expectations for their students’ learning, spent less class time lecturing, interacted more with students, and more often used effective teaching practices.
College Freshmen, Learner Engagement, National Surveys, College Seniors, Student Surveys, Educational Quality, Undergraduate Study, Institutional Characteristics, Student Characteristics, Selective Admission
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