Two national student surveys on student engagement and learning are under way, and university officials are encouraging students to participate by offering cash and gift cards.
Dr. Carla Morelon-Quainoo, director of Undergraduate Studies/Honors Program, said freshmen and seniors are asked to complete the 20-minute National Survey of Student Engagement, or NSSE (pronounced “Nessie”), which is being administered through April 30 both online via Dillard email and in paper form to their local addresses.
The freshman and senior classes will receive $1 for every freshman and senior completing the NSSE for freshman events and graduation activities respectively, she said.
The second one, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA, is for seniors only and is administered through mid-April. Scores are aggregated for the institution, not by student. One CLA session was held Monday, and a second is set from 2-4 p.m. Friday in the Alexander Library’s computer room.
Seniors who complete the CLA are eligible to draw for gift cards, including a $25 bookstore gift card and $5 Grille cards.
The director is seeking 75 percent to 100 percent participation.
Both surveys, she said, easily identify the problems that exist on campuses, but if too few Dillard students complete the surveys, the data cannot be used. That happened in 2008, when fewer than 100 students completed the NSSE, she said, compared with 372 freshmen and 67 seniors in 2004.
NSSE data will allow DU to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience inside and outside the classroom that can be improved, according to the Web site. The information also is used by prospective college students, parents and counselors.
The CLA’s offers analytical exercises that students write about to measure critical thinking skills so faculty can improve teaching and learning.
(Tess Williams contributed to this report.)