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ERIC Number: EJ872038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
How Effective Are the NSSE Benchmarks in Predicting Important Educational Outcomes?
Pascarella, Ernest T.; Seifert, Tricia A.; Blaich, Charles
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v42 n1 p16-22 Jan-Feb 2010
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), one of the most widely used annual surveys of undergraduates in the country, is specifically designed to assess the extent to which college students are engaged in empirically vetted good practices in undergraduate education. One of the major assumptions of the NSSE is that in measuring the extent to which students engage in such practices, one is indirectly measuring student cognitive and personal development during college. Given the NSSE's broad-based national and even international use, it seems reasonable to ask whether the good practices in undergraduate education that it measures actually do predict important educational outcomes. The bottom line is that, at present, there is very little internally valid evidence with respect to the predictive validity of the NSSE. Consequently, pursuant to a subcontract from the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College, the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa analyzed institution-level data from the first year of the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education to estimate the validity of the NSSE benchmarks in predicting seven traits and skills thought to be the outcomes of a general liberal arts education. The study measured those outcomes directly; it also addressed the limitations of past research on the NSSE by using a longitudinal pre-test-post-test approach. The authors concluded that institution-level NSSE benchmark scores had a significant overall positive association with the seven liberal arts outcomes at the end of the first year of college, independent of differences across the 19 institutions in the average score of their entering student population on each outcome. The findings support the claim that the NSSE results regarding educational practices and student experiences are good proxy measures for growth in important educational outcomes such as critical thinking, moral reasoning, intercultural effectiveness, personal well-being, and a positive orientation toward literacy activities. (Contains 1 table and 11 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement