University Surveys

Faculty Survey of Student Engagement - 2009 Campus Results

About FSSE

A companion to the NSSE, the FSSE measures how engaged faculty think their students are in the academic and personal development. A key factor are where there are "gaps" between what faculty perceive and what students report, providing an opportunity for improvement to narrow the gap.

The FSSE is designed to evaluate how faculty members perceive the level of effective student engagement, both in terms of faculty expectations and faculty perceived realities. When compared with NSSE data collected from student, it enables a college to look at discrepancies between how involved faculty think students are in effective student engagement practices and how involved students report themselves as being. Where discrepancies exist that are important to mission of the institution, strategies can be developed to help address concerns.

In addition, the FSSE asks faculty to self-report the time they spend on teaching, research/creative, and service activities, as well as the format/teaching style of their typical undergraduate class. The FSSE also asks faculty about the extent to which their students are prepared to contribute to society, and the willingness of faculty to adapt their teaching efforts to meet the learning styles of today's undergraduate students.

 

Faculty Activity - Report of Time Spent on Faculty-Related Activities, Typical Undergraduate Course Format, and Perceived Value of Student Education

In Spring 2009, the 363 of Western faculty members who taught undergraduate courses were asked to participate in the confidential on-line FSSE. Of these, 120 of faculty responded, generating the findings summarized below. A downloadable PDF is also provided.

 

Time Spent on Faculty-Related Activities

Overall, Western undergraduate faculty reported that they spent the most time teaching class, preparing for class, grading papers and exams, and on research and scholarly activities. However, there was considerable difference among faculty of different academic discipline areas:

  • Arts & Humanities faculty spent the greatest amount of time teaching undergraduate students in class, whereas Professional Studies faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Education faculty spent the most time grading papers and exams, whereas Engineering faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Education faculty spent the greatest amount of time giving written and oral feedback (other than papers and exams) to students, whereas Engineering faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Biological Science faculty spent the greatest amount of time preparing for class, whereas Professional Studies faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Arts & Humanities faculty spent the greatest amount of time reflecting on ways to improve their teaching, whereas Biological Science and Engineering faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Arts & Humanities faculty spent the greatest amount of time with research and scholarly activities, whereas Business faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Arts & Humanities faculty spent the greatest amount of time working with undergraduates on research, whereas Engineering faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.

 

Hours spent in a typical 7-day week

    (1=0, 2=1-5, 3=6-10, 4=11-15, 5=16-20, 6=21-25, 7=26-30, 8=More than 30) Arts & Hum Bio Sci Bus Educ Engr Phys Sci Prof Stud Soc Sci Othr Avg
    Teaching undergraduate students in class
    4.47 4.00 3.60 4.20 4.00 4.20 2.83 4.00 4.13 4.11
    Grading papers and exams 3.67< 3.67 3.20> 4.20 2.00 3.33 2.67 2.90 3.31 3.34
    Giving other forms of written and oral feedback to students 3.19 2.67 2.80< 3.40 2.00 &2.56 2.67 2.45 2.75 2.84
    Preparing for class 4.33 4.67 3.60 3.80 3.50 3.78 2.83 3.60 3.38 3.83
    Reflecting on ways to improve my teaching 2.97 2.00 2.40 3.00 2.00 2.56 2.33 2.30 2.56 2.63
    Research and scholarly activities 3.53 3.00 1.80 2.60 2.00 2.78 2.17 3.30 2.56 3.01
    Working with undergraduates on research 2.00 1.33 1.40 1.60 1.00 1.78 1.33 1.80 1.50 1.74
    Advising undergraduate students 2.22 1.00 2.60 1.20 1.00 1.56 1.17 1.80 2.19 1.92
    Supervising internships or other field experiences 1.34 1.00 2.00 2.60 1.00 1.11 1.67 1.10 1.75 1.44
    Working with students on activities other than coursework 1.86 2.00 1.80 1.40 1.00 1.78 2.33 1.80 2.13 1.87
    Other interactions with students outside of the classroom 2.06 2.00 2.40 2.00 1.50 2.11 2.67 1.90 2.31 2.11
    Conducting service activities 1.97 1.33 2.20 1.40 2.00 2.25 2.67 1.89 2.44 2.06

     

      Typical Undergraduate Course Format

      Overall, Western undergraduate faculty reported that their courses were predominantly of lecture format. However, there was considerable difference among faculty of different academic discipline areas:

      • Biological Science faculty utilized lecture format the most, while Physical Science, Business, and Social Science faculty were also relied heavily on classroom lectures. Education faculty utilized the least amount of lecture format, while Engineering and Arts & Humanities faculty also relied less on classroom lectures.
      • Professional Studies faculty utilized the most teacher-led discussion, whereas Biological Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
      • Arts & Humanities faculty utilized teacher-student shared responsibility techniques such as seminars, discussion, etc., the most, whereas Biological Science and Physical Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
      • Engineering faculty relied heavily on student computer use, whereas Education faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
      • Education faculty utilized small group activities the most, whereas Social Science and Engineering faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
      • Professional Studies faculty utilized student presentations the most, whereas Engineering faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
      • Business faculty utilized in-class writing the most, whereas Engineering faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
      • Physical Science faculty utilized testing and evaluation more than all other academic disciplines.
      • Arts & Humanities faculty utilized performances in applied and fine arts (e.g., dance, drama, music) more than all other academic disciplines.
      • Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Professional Studies faculty utilized experiential learning (labs, field work, art exhibits, etc.) the most, whereas Social Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.

       

      Format of typical undergraduate course

      (1=0%, 2=1-9%, 3=10-19%, 4=20-29%, 5=30-39%, 6=40-49%, 7=50-74%, 8=75% or more) Arts & Hum Bio Sci Bus Educ Engr Phys Sci Prof Stud Soc Sci Othr Avg
      Lecture 4.81 7.33 6.00< 3.20 4.50 6.56 5.00 6.00 5.38 5.37
      Teacher-led discussion> 3.68 1.67 3.80 3.00 3.00 2.50 4.50 3.40 3.69 3.54
      Teacher-student shared responsibility (seminar, discussion, etc.) 3.17 1.33 2.20 2.20 2.50 1.75 2.97 2.30 3.06 2.67
      Student computer use
      2.00 2.33 2.20 1.60 5.00 1.63 3.00 1.70 2.56 2.12
      Small group activities 2.66 2.33 3.40 4.60 2.00 2.11 2.33 1.95 2.75 2.57
      Student presentations 2.22 1.33 2.00 2.20 1.00 1.50 2.83 2.30 2.50 2.20
      In-class writing 2.39 1.33 2.80 1.50 1.00 1.29 2.00 2.10 1.60 2.03
      Testing and evaluation 2.44 2.67 2.60 2.40 2.50 3.00 2.40 2.30 2.38 2.47
      Performances in applied and fine arts (e.g., dance, drama, music) 2.36 1.00 1.00 1.70 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.05 1.56 1.61
      Experiential (labs, field work, art exhibits, etc.) 1.89 3.67 2.40 2.40 3.50 3.13 3.50 1.50 2.56 2.25

       

      Perceived Value of Student Education

      Overall, Western undergraduate faculty generally agreed that the educational experience at Western contributes to the student's knowledge, skill,s and personal development. However, there were some significant differences among faculty of different academic discipline areas:

      • Business and Education faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students had learned to write clearly and effectively, whereas Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Professional Studies faculty were the least confident in students having gained this educational value.
      • Education and Business faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students had learned to speak clearly and effectively, whereas Professional Studies faculty were the least confident in students having gained this educational value.
      • Business and Education faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students had learned to think critically and analytically, whereas Biological Sciences faculty were the least confident in students having gained this educational value.
      • Business and Education faculty were the stronger in their assertion that students had learned to utilize computing and information technology than, all other academic disciplines.
      • Business and Education faculty were the stronger in their assertion that students had learned to work effectively with others, than all other academic disciplines.
      • Business and Education faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students were able to solve complex real-world problems, than all other academic disciplines.
      • Education faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students had developed a personal code of values and ethics, whereas Physical Sciences faculty were the least confident in students having gained this educational value.
      • Business faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students had acquired a broad general education, than all other academic disciplines.
      • Business, Education, and Engineering faculty were the strongest in their assertion that students has acquired job or work-related knowledge and skills, than all other academic disciplines.
      • Physical Science and Biological Science faculty were the least confident that students develop skills to work with people of various backgrounds.

       

      Extent student experience contributed to knowledge, skills, & development

      (1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much) Arts & Hum Bio Sci Bus Educ Engr Phys Sci Prof Stud Soc Sci Othr Avg
      Writing clearly and effectively 2.64 2.00 3.67 3.67 2.00 2.25 2.00 2.24 2.64 2.52
      Speaking clearly and effectively 2.26 2.50 3.00 3.67 2.00 2.25 1.50 2.12 2.86 2.38
      Thinking critically and analytically 2.82 2.00 3.67 3.50 2.50 2.38 2.40 2.35 2.50 2.62
      Analyzing quantitative problems 2.24
      2.00
      3.00
      2.50 3.00 2.63 2.00 2.19 2.21 2.30
      Using computing and information technology 2.85 3.00 4.00 3.67 3.00 2.86 3.20 2.71 3.21 2.99
      Working effectively with others 2.57 2.50 3.67 3.67 2.50 2.38 2.40 2.50 2.86 2.65
      Learning effectively on his or her own 2.36 3.00 3.33 3.50 2.00 2.38 1.80 2.24 2.79 2.44
      Understanding himself or herself 2.56 2.50 2.67 3.67 2.00 2.00 1.60 2.50 2.57 2.47
      Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds 2.26 1.50 2.00 2.33 2.50 2.50 2.40 2.24 2.29 2.28
      Solving complex real-world problems 2.19 2.00 3.00 3.00 2.50 2.00 2.20 2.06 2.21 2.21
      Developing a personal code of values and ethics 2.08 2.50 2.67 3.33 2.00 1.57 2.20 2.18 2.29 2.18
      Developing a deepened sense of spirituality 1.50 1.50 1.67 2.00 1.00 1.14 1.00 1.53 1.64 1.47
      Acquiring a broad general education 2.73 2.50 3.33 2.67 3.00 2.29 2.20 2.71 2.36 2.61
      Acquiring job or work-related knowledge and skills 2.42 2.50 3.00 3.33 3.00 2.29 2.40 2.24 2.64 2.48
      Voting in local, state, or national elections 1.79 1.50 2.00 2.00 1.50 1.71 1.60 1.59 1.86 1.74
      Contributing to the welfare of his or her community 1.73 1.50 2.00 1.67 1.50 1.57 2.20 1.65 1.86 1.75

       

       

      Gap Analysis - Comparison of Faculty Perceived (FSSE) and Student Reported (NSSE) Levels of Effective Student Engagement

      In addition, the FSSE measures how engaged faculty think their students are in the academic and personal development. A key factor are where there are "gaps" between what faculty perceive and what students report, providing an opportunity for improvement to narrow the gap. Click the link above to view these results.