Office of Institutional
November 8, 2007
University of North Dakota was one of 162 institutions participating in the spring 2007 administration of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE). This is the second time UND has participated in the FSSE study which was previously administered in 2003. Student engagement is comprised of two components: students' effort and time dedicated to educationally meaningful activities and the extent institutions emphasize effective educational practices. FSSE assesses the level in which UND faculty expect students in their courses to experience these activities. The study works in conjunction with the National Survey of Student Engagement where similar questions are asked of students. The combination of the two reports are intended to give UND feedback from students and faculty concerning the learning environment, how well students are learning, and what they are getting out of their undergraduate experiences.
FSSE sent a link to the web-based survey to 383 faculty members at UND. 163 faculty replied to the survey for a response rate of 43%; nationally, the FSSE response rate was 47%. At UND, 40 respondents taught lower division courses (25%), 88 respondents taught upper division courses (54%), 11 taught other courses (7%), with the remaining 24 respondents not reporting course level.
Community-Based Experiences . UND faculty report greater importance on students experiencing community service, working on research with faculty outside of program requirements, study abroad, foreign language coursework, and a culminating senior experience than was reported in 2003. Upper division faculty also report an increased importance on students experiencing a practicum, internship, co-op or clinical assignment.
Time Usage . Not surprisingly, upper division faculty report greater amounts of time being spent on research and scholarly activities, advising, and working with students outside of typical coursework than lower division faculty. Lower division faculty report the majority of their time being spent preparing for class, teaching, and grading papers.
Course Activity . Comparing 2007 to 2003, faculty report higher participation from all students (higher scores for both lower division and upper division) in frequently work harder than they usually do to meet your standards, occasionally use e-mail to communicate with you, at least once talk about career plans, and at least once discuss ideas from readings or classes with you outside of class. Faculty report lower participation in frequently ask questions in class or contribute to class discussions and occasionally discuss grades or assignments with you . Interestingly, only small changes are seen in the percentage of students stating they experience these activities in 2007 when compared to 2003.
Emphasis on Mental Ability. FSSE tracks five areas of cognitive ability: Memorizing facts, analyzing elements, synthesizing ideas, making judgments, and applying theories. Faculty in 2007, for both lower and upper division courses, report greater emphasis on analyzing, synthesizing, making judgments, and applying theories than was reported in 2003. Less emphasis was reported on memorizing than was reported in 2003. First-year students also report a decrease in emphasis on memorizing from 2003 to 2007, however senior students report increased emphasis on memorizing in 2007 when compared to 2003.
Coursework Structured to Enhance Learning. Faculty report they mostly structure their courses to enhance student development in thinking critically and analytically and learning effectively on their own. The greatest increases in 2007 over 2003 in faculty structuring their coursework to enhance student learning are in analyzing quantitative problems, using computing and information technology, acquiring job or work-related knowledge, solving complex real-world problems, and working effectively with others .