In response to the distinctive challenges confronting higher education this fall, NSSE created a unique no-cost survey offering—NSSE Pulse. The short online survey included selected questions from NSSE critical to persistence, such as quality of interactions and students' sense of belonging, as well as questions related to course modality, factors related to online course participation, and compliance with health guidelines.
A total of 190 institutions participated (181 U.S. and 9 Canadian), and more than 141,000 students responded. NSSE Pulse closed on November 23. Here are some initial findings from US institutions:
- 68% of respondents described their mix of courses taken as “mostly remote” with another 20% in “mostly hybrid or blended” and only 7% in mostly in-person courses.
- Among the conditions for online learning, students were least likely to agree that study spaces where they live were sufficient for their needs.
- 70% of students believed their institution helped keep them safe and healthy this school year.
- Two in three students responded that their institution provided substantial (“Very much” or “Quite a bit”) support to help them succeed academically.
- Only 46% of students reported that their courses highly challenged them to do their best work (6 or 7 on a seven-point scale). Students taking mostly in-person courses were more likely than others to report high challenge to do their best.
- The vast majority of students rated their quality of interactions with students, faculty and academic advisors as good or excellent.
Watch for additional NSSE Pulse findings!