Validating the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) at a Research-Intensive University

Chosang Tendhar, Steven M. Culver, Penny L. Burge


The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) has been used at universities across the U.S. and Canada to gather information about the quality of engagement of first-year students and graduating students. Institutions use NSSE’s five benchmarks of effective educational practice to compare themselves with other schools and to focus in on ways to improve the educational experiences of their students. However, studies indicate that these benchmarks may not be a valid way to convey NSSE information. This study was conducted to investigate whether or not NSSE’s five-factor model is the best fit for student engagement data collected at a large, public, research-intensive, land-grant university. The five-factor model did not fit the data for the 2008 sample of senior students at this university. Rather, a revised model using six factors instead of five and 21 of 42 items provided a more valid test blueprint. This new model was then tested and found to fit the 2011 sample of senior students at the same university. Discussion regarding use of a nationally collected data at an individual institution is provided.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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