Dec. 13, 2023

Student feedback survey offers robust insights into the UCalgary experience

2023 National Survey on Student Engagement results show strengths and opportunity for student experience
Two students laugh at a table, which has laptops on it.
Mike Tan

Every three years, thousands of students across UCalgary participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), providing their insights and feedback on their experiences. Focused on first- and fourth-year students, NSSE is an opportunity to hear directly from students about what impacted their learning the most, and how the university can continue to improve in teaching and learning.

The 2023 results show strengths and growth across many areas, with the majority of UCalgary’s scores, or engagement indicators, exceeding or similar to other U15 schools.

“The University of Calgary values student feedback, as it helps us continue to improve our teaching and learning environment,” says Dr. Penny Werthner, interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic). “We examine the NSSE findings carefully with each of our faculties to ensure we understand where we need to make changes to our teaching and where we need to increase our support.”  

UCalgary saw the strongest increases among first-year students related to learning strategies - reviewing notes after class, summarizing course material, and identifying key information in readings. For senior-year students, reflective and integrative learning and higher-order learning saw the strongest increases, in terms of making connections to the world around them, considering issues from others’ perspectives and engaging in complex tasks.  

The 2023 results also demonstrate increases in areas where the institution has focused strategic attention and investment, such as experiential learning and equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. The item, Discussions with Diverse Others, ranked above the U15 for both first- and senior-year students.

UCalgary has used NSSE since 2004 as a source of robust data on undergraduate student engagement. The results help inform key institutional performance metrics, as well as evidence to support strategic initiatives in teaching and learning.

About NSSE

The NSSE survey assesses the extent to which students engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. It provides an estimate of how undergraduate students spend their time learning and what they gain from attending university. NSSE began in 2000 and has been used at more than 1,600 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

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