Every three years, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is available to be taken by Brock students. This survey is designed to regularly obtain information from colleges and universities all around Canada and the United States about how students feel about their university experience. Students can participate and give intel on student participation in programs and activities at the institutions they are enrolled in. Five main sections are measured, including the level of academic challenge, interactive learning, the interaction between students and faculty, education experiences and their level of enrichment and how supportive they feel their campus environment is.
Invitations to participate in these surveys from President Lightstone were sent out to the students eligible to participate on Feb 12, and since then students have received several reminders to complete these surveys. Acting as a census, NSSE tries its best to get a feel for the types of student engagement that goes on in schools all over North America. Last year, 621 colleges and universities participated in NSSE totalling to a number of 371,284 students.
Brock has participated in these surveys in 2006, 2008, 2011 and again this year. Their last survey had around 6,000 prospective survey respondents. The survey is taken by first-years first entering Brock and fourth-years who will be graduating from Brock. As means of promoting students to participate, the University last offered iPads as prizes where the winners were randomly chosen from the survey respondents. This year, Brock is doing something similar. The prizes this year for the students that participate are one of four iPads and even one of four $600 bookstore gift cards. There are also five Union Station gift cards valued at $20.
Providing incentive for students to participate is definitely a smart thing to do. Although it could be argued that the money spent on the prizes could be going to other things around the school to improve it, or that there should be a joy in contributing to the better of the school in itself, no one likes to do things that they don’t have to do, and trying to get a student to fill out a survey without incentive is a lost cause. This way, not only does the school benefit from getting more information on how to make itself better, but the students get to be involved and have their say as well as a chance to win prizes that are appealing to most if not all students.
The pool of students they select to answer the surveys is also a smart choice of students. By getting first-years to contribute to filling out this survey, the University will be able to see what they are doing right and wrong right off the bat, and can then begin to change those things for incoming first year students in years to follow. In addition to that, getting the fourth-year students to contribute is also a good way of reflecting on how the school has been able to grow in the mentioned five areas for the students who have already experienced their time at Brock, and this can also allow for some changes to be made for all students.
If you are a first year students or a student that’s graduating, making sure to check your e-mail and participate in this survey to help make Brock a better community.