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Faculty Survey of Student Engagement - 2007 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 Teaching Adaptability

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 preparing for class, teaching class, grading papers and exams, and on research and scholarly activities. However, there was considerable difference among faculty of different academic discipline areas:

  • Physical Science faculty spent the greatest amount of time teaching undergraduate students in class, whereas Education faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Professional Studies faculty spent the greatest amount of time giving written and oral feedback, other than papers and exams, to students.
  • Professional Studies and Biological Science faculty spent the greatest amount of time preparing for class, whereas Physical Science faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Biological Science and Social Science faculty spent the greatest amount of time with research and scholarly activities, whereas Physical Science and Engineering faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Biological Science faculty spent the greatest amount of time working with undergraduates on research, whereas Business and Education faculty spent the least amount of time in this activity.
  • Education faculty spent the greatest amount of time supervising internships or other field experiences.
  • Physical Science faculty spent the least amount of time working with students on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student life activities, etc.).

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 4.11 3.75 3.50 3.11 3.80 4.24 3.77 3.60 3.39 3.65
Grading papers and exams 3.62 3.17 3.21 3.49 3.00 2.88 3.69 3.28 2.75 2.34
Giving other forms of written and oral feedback to students 3.03 2.50 2.52 3.26 3.00 2.41 3.38 2.69 2.57 2.81
Preparing for class 3.94 4.42 3.75 4.03 3.80 3.18 4.46 3.81 3.43 3.79
Reflecting on ways to improve my teaching 2.71 2.92 2.25 2.97 2.40 2.35 3.92 2.70 2.26 2.58
Research and scholarly activities 3.23 4.42 3.08 3.54 2.20 2.47 3.15 3.81 2.76 3.22
Working with undergraduates on research 1.91 3.17 1.33 1.31 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.16 1.83 1.87
Advising undergraduate students 1.85 1.50 1.71 1.89 1.60 1.47 2.15 1.79 1.65 1.76
Supervising internships or other field experiences 1.22 1.17 1.21 2.06 1.20 1.24 1.92 1.56 1.66 1.51
Working with students on activities other than coursework 1.66 1.50 2.00 1.71 1.80 1.35 1.92 2.00 2.32 1.90
Other interactions with students outside of the classroom 2.08 1.83 1.92 2.31 2.00 2.12 2.54 2.05 2.67 2.24
Conducting service activities 2.06 2.25 2.38 2.37 2.20 2.18 2.38 2.28 2.53 2.30

 

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:

  • Physical Science faculty utilized lecture format the most, while Professional Studies, Social Science, and Biological Science faculty were also relied heavily on classroom lectures. Engineering faculty utilized the least amount of lecture format, while Arts & Humanities and Education faculty also relied less on classroom lectures.
  • Education and Professional Studies faculty utilized the most teacher-led discussion, whereas Physical Science, Engineering, and Biological Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
  • Education faculty utilized teacher-student shared responsibility techniques such as seminars, discussion, etc., the most, whereas Engineering, Biological Science, and Physical Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
  • Engineering faculty relied heavily on student computer use, whereas Physical Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
  • Education faculty utilized small group activities the most, whereas Physical Science faculty utilized this teaching element the least.
  • Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences faculty utilized student presentations less 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 and Engineering faculty utilized experiential learning (labs, field work, art exhibits, etc.) the most, with Physical Science faculty taking advantage of considerable experiential learning activities. Arts & Humanities and 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 4.39 5.83 5.30 4.21 3.80 7.18 6.00 5.98 5.30 5.21
Teacher-led discussion 3.58 2.36 3.74 4.46 2.60 3.06 4.46 3.88 3.77 3.74
Teacher-student shared responsibility (seminar, discussion, etc.) 2.85 1.92 2.45 3.84 2.00 1.75 3.15 2.60 3.03 2.83
Student computer use 1.83 1.42 1.73 1.97 4.40 1.31 1.85 1.48 2.00 1.82
Small group activities 2.51 2.18 2.71 4.00 2.40 1.69 2.36 2.56 2.58 2.67
Student presentations
2.29 1.42 2.29 2.65 2.00 1.33 2.43 2.07 2.14 2.17
In-class writing
2.18 1.67 1.71 1.94 1.60 1.47 1.83 1.76 1.65 1.82
Testing and evaluation 2.45 2.58 2.92 2.64 2.40 3.00 2.85 2.29 2.39 2.53
Performances in applied and fine arts (e.g., dance, drama, music) 2.34 1.00 1.17 1.06 1.20 1.00 1.00 1.03 1.35 1.44
Experiential (labs, field work, art exhibits, etc.) 1.68 4.42 2.30 2.06 4.40 2.81 2.38 1.56 2.31 2.19

 

Teaching Adaptability

Overall, Western undergraduate faculty generally agreed on the extent to which students learned various skills, the diversity of their course perspectives, and their own efforts to explore and expand their teaching efforts in meeting the learning styles of students. However, there was a modest difference among faculty of different academic discipline areas:

  • Engineering and Physical Science faculty were the least confident that students connect learning to society problems.
  • Physical Science and Biological Science faculty were the least confident that students develop skills to work with people of various backgrounds.
  • Arts & Humanities faculty were the most confident that course content emphasizes contributions from multiple cultures, whereas Business and Physical Science faculty were the least confident in this aspect of education.
  • Physical Science faculty were the least confident that course content covers multiple theoretical perspectives.
  • Engineering faculty were the least likely to try to learn about student characteristics.
  • Physical Science faculty were the least likely to explore their own cultural and intellectual limitations.
  • Physical Science faculty were the least likely to try to empower students.
  • Physical Science faculty were the least likely to evaluate student learning using multiple techniques.

Extent to which:

(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
Students connect learning to societal problems 2.52 2.75 2.39 3.00 1.80 1.88 2.85 2.79 2.66 2.62
Students develop skills to work with people with various backgrounds 2.53 1.58 2.22 2.82 2.20 1.47 2.54 2.21 2.55 2.38
Course content emphasizes contributions from multiple cultures 2.87 2.00 1.74 2.52 2.00 1.76 2.38 2.42 2.18 2.35
Course covers multiple theoretical aspects  2.57 2.58 2.48 2.88 2.20 2.12 2.62 &2.93 2.67 2.65
You try to learn about student characteristics 3.19 2.92 2.96 3.30 2.20 2.82 2.77 2.77 3.20 3.05
You explore your own cultural and intellectual limitations 2.94 2.58 2.26 2.91 2.20 2.06 2.51 2.51 2.70 2.66
You address your potential biases 2.45 2.08 2.17 2.71 2.20 1.94 2.36 2.36 2.39 2.39
You vary your teaching methods to encourage participation  3.32 3.00 2.83 3.47 2.80 2.75 2.81 2.81 3.05 3.08
You work on creating a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning 3.73 3.67 3.39< 3.76 3.40 3.44 3.40 3.40 3.55 3.57
Your try to empower your students 3.66 3.17 3.35 3.62 3.20 2.88 3.12 3.12 3.44 3.39
You evaluate student learning using multiple techniques 3.30 3.00 3.39 3.56 3.20 2.69 2.98 2.98 3.33 3.24
You adjust aspects of the course based on student needs 3.32 3.09 2.78 3.25 3.20 3.06 2.65 2.65 3.11 3.08

 

 

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.