It Takes a Team to Put NSSE Data to Use

It Takes a Team to Put NSSE Data to Use

Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, NSSE Institute — Data teams are a popular approach in K-12 schools and districts, and in some colleges and universities. to increase the use of data to inform improvement.  Our studies of NSSE data use suggest that when a committee that is charged with promoting the survey, interpreting data, and acting on results considers NSSE; data get more traction on campus. Adopting a team approach to a NSSE administration seems like an effective way to ensure a successful administration and to act on results.

To help encourage a team approach at more colleges and universities, beginning in 2016 we invited NSSE participating institutions to form a team of interested staff to support their NSSE administration and action on data. Institutions identified a group of individuals within the new Data Use Team interface section under the Data & Reports table.  Team members are in addition to the NSSE Campus Project Manager and Campus Administrative Contact already named.

As of February 2017, we were pleased to see that 556 data use team members from 443 distinct institutions have been identified. Here’s some information about who’s on these teams:

  • Most institutions added 2 or 3 team members to their current roster of NSSE contacts, for teams of about 5.
  • Team member titles are primarily from the Institutional Research office, or from a separate Assessment unit, but just as many team members had titles associated with academic affairs, including provost and dean of the faculty, and student affairs.
  • Some of the more interesting team member roles include librarian, registrar, dean, student affairs director, coordinator of the first year experience, Title III grant administrator, and faculty in history, economics, mathematics, and sociology, among others.

We hope to learn more about how these teams are assembling and thinking about NSSE results.  If you have a story about your team approach to using NSSE data please be in touch!

The upcoming 2nd annual Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI) July 30-Aug 2, 2017 provides NSSE-participating institutions the opportunity to convene their team to develop evidence-based action plans aimed at improving effective instructional practices, student engagement, and student learning and success.  Experienced educators from across the country facilitate small and large group sessions, and worked directly with teams as resources for the entire institute.  For more details: