Miami University outranks its peers in all five benchmark categories of the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
First-year students and seniors at universities across the country answered multiple questions on the annual NSSE survey to determine students’ college experiences in five areas: level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environment.
Specific areas in which Miami first-year and senior students far outpaced students at peer universities are in writing more papers and working with other students on projects inside and outside of class; Miami seniors reported higher numbers than their peers in the quantity of assigned reading, making class presentations and creating a culminating senior project, among other areas.
Miami also beat the national average two years ago, the last time Miami participated. Miami first-year and senior students have been reporting steadily increasing scores on the survey's five benchmarks of effective educational practice, with significant increases in all benchmarks over the last 10 years.
Since 2001, the largest gains for first-year students came in student-faculty interaction, up 6.2 points, and active and collaborative learning, increasing the benchmark score by 5.4. Among seniors, the largest gains in 10 years were in student-faculty interaction, up 6.8 points, a supportive campus environment, up 5.2, and active and collaborative learning, up 4.5 points.
In 2006, Miami incorporated a systemic change to undergraduate education, called the TOP 25 Project, using learning models that enhance student engagement and focus on the student as an active learner. The TOP 25 courses, which are those with the highest enrollments, comprise a significant portion of first year students’ curriculum. The university’s own surveys show improved learning and engagement.
“These NSSE results demonstrate an increase in activities that are consistent with the TOP 25 goals,” said Miami Provost Bobby Gempesaw. “On a broader scale, they show that we are on track with the university’s goals for improving student learning.”
The NSSE survey included 416,000 students overall from 673 colleges and universities. At Miami, 1,176 randomly selected students responded. Miami’s NSSE reports are online at http://www.units.muohio.edu/oir/Surveys/NSSE/index.htm.
The NSSE survey is conducted by the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. The complete survey can be found online at http://nsse.iub.edu/html/annual_results.cfm.