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Survey Instruments and Activities

As with all assessment efforts, the value of an institutional assessment survey depends on whether faculty, administrators, and staff members can use the results to support their ongoing processes and activities. This listing below provides the descriptive information (e.g., a shared purpose, target population, sample frame, etc.) of specific instruments used by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics. Many of these assessments rely on survey responses that operate on a cooperative system in which SJSU agreed to participate, in return, receive the findings and record level results for further local analysis.

Surveys Listed in Alphabetical Order

Survey of Academic Advisors
(SJSU Advising Council and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: This survey was developed to collect information on how academic advisors are currently using the academic advising resources on campus, and how they evaluate the effectiveness of the advice they give. This survey is administered concurrently with the Student Survey of Advising.

Key Variables: Items assess advisor satisfaction, how academic advisors are interacting with students, what advising resources they used and how they felt about them, what challenges they faced at work and the training they received as advisors.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Survey of Academic Advisors is administered to undergraduate advisors.


Campus Climate Survey
(SJSU Campus Climate Advisory Committee and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: The Campus Climate Survey was conducted at San Jose State by the Campus Climate Committee (CCC), a presidential advisory group composed of faculy, students, administrators, and staff, in partnership with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics. The survey measures sense of community and respect for diversity among all members of the campus community at SJSU. Campus climate was defined as "the formal enviornment in which we learn, teach, and work, and live in a postsecondary setting."

Key Variables: Survey questions assess student perceptions of the campus climate, the degree of sensitivity on campus regarding racial/ethnic, gender, disability and other issues, the experiences of diversity issues within the classroom and larger learning environment, and awareness of procedures to report discriminatory behaviors. The anonymous survey also collects detailed demographic information.

Target Population and Sample Frame: The target population is the campus community which includes faculty, students, and staff. The survey is administered to a 10% random sample of undergraduate and graduate students, and all faculty (Tenure, Tenure Track, and Temporary) and staff.

For more information about this survey, visit Campus Climate.


HERI Cooperative Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics Program (CIRP) Freshmen Survey (TFS)
(Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA)

Description: The Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics collaborates with Student Involvement for administration of TFS. The Freshmen Survey measures college perparedness of incoming freshmen prior to the start of their college experience. It provides the institution with information of incoming freshmen academic practices and expectations. TFS can be used in conjunction with Your First College Year, Diversity Learning Environment, College Senior Survey, and Faculty Survey to get a comprehensive picture of student and faculty expectations and experiences on campus.

Key Variables: Items assess high school social behavior, academic preparedness, admission decisions, college expectations, interaction with peers and faculty, values and goals, and concerns about financing college.

Target Population and Sample Frame: CIRP Freshmen Survey is administered to all first time freshmen during student orientation prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

For more information about this survey, visit CIRP Freshmen Survey.


Classroom Survey of Student Engagement (CLASSE)
(Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington)

Description: An extention of both the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Faculty Survey of Student engagement (FSSE), CLASSE measures variation in student engagement at the classroom level. The CLASSE is a pair of survey instruments that enable one to compare with engagement practices and cognitive skills faculty particularly value and perceive important in a designated class with how frequently students report these practices occurring in that class.

Key Variables: CLASSEFaculty is the faculty survey assessing faculty's rated importance of engagement practices and cognitive skills in a designated class. CLASSEStudent is the student survey assessing students' experience and frequency with engagement practices and cognitive skills of the designated class. These practices include group work, presentations, reading assignments, outside the classroom activities, discussions, and others.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered in class to a randomly selected sample of the First-Year Experience (FYE) classes. The respondents include faculty as well as first-year and students from MUSE - Metropolitan University Scholar's Experience, Humanities Honors Program and Science 2 - Success in Sciences.

For more information about this survey, visit Classroom Survey of Student Engagement.


Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)
(Council for Aid to Education)

Description: The CLA is used as a cross-sectional measure of cognitive skills developed during students' educational experience at a college or university. This assessment examines the value added through comparison of skills when they start college with skills when they finish college. Cognitive skills are measured through a Performance task or an Analytic Writing Task completed on-line in a test environment. Note: As of Fall 2013, the CLA was replaced with the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+).

Key Variables: CLA begins with conceptions of collegiate quality that are based on improvements in student learning, with three key elements serving as the project's foundation: the institution, value added, and campus comparisons. The assessment focuses on a set of common areas that comprise what is central to most notions of collegiate education: critical thinking, analytic reasoning and written communication. These skills are more specifically described as evaluation of ideas and information, problem solving, writing effectiveness, and writing mechanics.

Target Population and Sample Frame: During the fall semester, CLA is administered to a sample of first-time freshmen. In spring, CLA is administered to a sample of graduating seniors.

Due to the transition from the CLA to the CLA+, only CLA+ information is available on-line. For more information on the CLA+, visit Collegiate Learning Assessment + Overview.


Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus(CLA+)
(Council for Aid to Education)

Description: The CLA+ is used as a cross-sectional measure of cognitive skills developed during students' education experience at a college or university. Like the CLA it also examines value added through comparison of skills students possess when starting college with skills students possess upon the completion of their college education. This assessment is completed on-line in a test enviornment. Unlike the CLA, the CLA+ requires that all students take the exact same assessment which measures critical thinking, reasonsing, critiquing and making an arguement, writing, and problem solving. The CLA+ incorporates multiple choice items and essay type items.

Key Variables: CLA+ begins with conceptions of collegiate quality that are based on improvements in student learning, with three key elements serving as the project's foundation: the institution, value added, and campus comparisons. The assessment focuses on a set of common areas that comprise what is central to most notions of collegiate education: critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and written communication. These skills are more specifically described as reasoning, critiquing an argument, and problem solving.

Target Population and Sample Frame: During the fall semester, CLA+ is administered to a sample of first-time freshmen. In spring, CLA+ is administered to a sample of native graduating seniors.

For more information about this survey, visit Collegiate Learning Assessment + Overview.


HERI Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) Survey
(Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA)

Description: San Jose State University was invited to participate in the pilot study of the Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) Survey. DLE was developed to assist educators in addressing the needs and advancing the success of a diverse student population who will begin to take leadership in a new vision of society. This survey examines three components of diverse experiences: Campus Climate, Practices, and Outcomes.

Key Variables: Campus Climate items assess discrimination and harrassment, positive and negative cross-racial interaction, institutional commitment to diversity, academic validation in the class, satisfaction with diverse perspectives, financial difficulty, interpersonal validation, and a sense of belonging. Practices items assess curriculum of inclusion, co-curricular diverse activities, and student services. Outcomes items assess integration of learning, habits of mind, pluralistic orientation, social action, civic engagement, and student enrollment mobility.

Target Population and Sample Frame: DLE is administered electronically to second (sophomores) and third (juniors) year students.

For more information about this survey, visit Diverse Learning Environments.


Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)
(Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington)

Description: FSSE examines faculty expectations of student engagement in educational practices that are empirically linked with high levels of learning and development. The survey also collects information about how faculty members spend their time related to professorial activities and the kinds of learning experiences their institution emphasizes. This survey is the faculty counterpart to the National Survey of Student Engagement.

Key Variables: Items assess the perceptions of faculty on how and where students use their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with students and peers, and other aspects of college instruction and experience.

Target Population and Sample Frame: FSSE is administered electronically to all undergraduate faculty possessing a valid SJSU e-mail address.

For more information about this survey, visit Faculty Survey of Student Engagement.


HERI Faculty Survey
(Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA)

Description: The Faculty Survey was designed to obtain information about the attitudes, experiences, concerns, job satisfaction, workload, teaching practices, and professional activities of collegiate faculty and administrators. Information resulting from the survey can be used to facilitate self-study and accreditation acitivies; inform campus planning and policy analysis; enhance faculty development programs; and improve students' educational experiences.

Key Variables: Items emphasize on faculty-student interaction, undergraduate teaching, and curricular issues. Other items focus on faculty's use of PC/Internet technology and current issues of interest to today's campus, such as diversity and civic engagement. Local items are also included in the survey to assess issues that are pertinent to SJSU faculty.

Target Population and Sample Frame: HERI Faculty is administered electronically to random sample of faculty stratified by tenure status.

For more information about this survey, visit the HERI Faculty Survey site.


Inclusive Excellence Survey
(SJSU Advising Effectiveness Taskforce)

Description: Inclusive Excellence is a survey administered to learn how students are currently using the academic advising resources on campus, and how they evaluate the effectiveness of the advice they receive. This survey was created in house and was a result of the Advising Effectiveness Taskforce efforts to assess and improve advising.

Key Variables: Items assess effectiveness and satisfaction with general education advising, effectiveness and satisfaction with major advising, frequency of using support services, satisfaction with support services, frequency and satisfaction with peer counseling, and factors contributing of academic progress.

Target Population and Sample Frame: This survey is administered to undergraduates taking General Education courses in the College of Humanities & the Arts.


Survey of Instruction and Assessment Strategies
(SJSU Review Committee of Active Learning in STEM Courses)

Description: Instruction and Assessment Strategies is a survey administered every fall semester. The purpose of the survey was to collect information on faculty members' educational practices from the College of Sciences and College of Enginnering at San Jose State University. It is used to determine if the faculty members use a teacher-centered approach or a student-centered, interactive approach to instruction.

Key Variables: Survey questions assess how instructors plan for instruction, how instruction is delivered, and how student learning is assessed.

Target Population and Sample Frame: This survey is administered to faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and mathematics (STEM) each fall semester.


iSkills - Information and Communication Technology Literacy Test (ICT)
(Education Testing Service, California State University System and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: The iSkills assessment (the former ICT Literacy Assessment) is an Internet-based test of information and communication technology (ICT) literacy that uses real life scenario-based tasks to measure cognitive skills and technological literacy.

Key Variables: Students are present with 12-15 ICT tasks, each requiring no more than four minutes to complete. Each ICT task addresses one of the following ICT proficiencies: define, access, evaluate, integrate, manage, create, and communicate. Assessment is offered at two levels, Core Assessment and Advanced Assessment. Each version of the assessment is 75 minutes long.

Target Population and Sampling Frame: The target population is the undergraduate student body. The survey was last administered in Spring 2007 to a stratified random sample of undergraduate course/sections.

For more information about this survey, visit iSkills Assessment.


National College Health Assessment (NCHA)
(American College Health Association)

Description: NCHA is a 30 minute survey assessing student behaviors, habits, and perceptions of their health for a variety of health issues. The data is collected to assist campuses augment health promotion and prevention in efforts to increase and maintain student wellness.

Key Variables: Items assess health status and health problems, risk and protective behaviors, access to health information, impediments to academic performance, and perceived norms across a variety of content areas including: injury prevention, personal safety and violence; alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; sexual health; weight, nutrition, and exercise; and mental health.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys are administered in class to randomly selected undergraduate students enrolled at SJSU.

For more information about this survey, visit National College Health Assessment.


National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
(Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington)

Description: NSSE is a self-report assessment measuring the extent to which students are engaged in empirically derived good educational practices and what they gain from their college experience. The effective educational practices covered by NSSE are level of academic challenge, enriching educational experiences, student-faculty interaction, active and collaborative learning, and supportive campus environment. This survey is the student counterpart to the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement.

Key Variables: Items assess how and where students spend their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with faculty and peers, and what they have gained from their classes and other aspects of their college experience.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys are administered on-line to a random sample of freshmen and seniors.

For more information about this survey, visit National Survey of Student Engagement.

For more information about results, visit IEA's National Survey of Student Engagement page.


Personal and Social Responsbility Inventory (PSRI)
(Research Institute for Studies in Education, Iowa State University)

Description: This survey was designed as a result of an initiative sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. PSRI is a student and administrative professionals survey assessing campus climate by focusing on five dimensions believed to be a part of college student goals. The dimensions are Striving for Excellence, Cultivating Academic Integrity, Contributing to a Lager Community, Taking Seriously the Perspectives of Others, and Developing Competence in Ethical and Moral Reasoning and Action.

Key Variables: Items of the five dimensions cover work ethic, honesty and respect for work, recognition of one's responsability to the society, ability to be open to diverse perspectives and use those perspectives for personal and intellectual growth, and the development of ethical and moral reasoning.

Target Population and Sample Frame: The PSRI student survey is administered to all students at SJSU and the administrative professionals survey is administered to staff and administrators that work closely with students on campus.


Profile of American College Student (NASPA)
(Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington)

Description: This survey is designed to get an accurate portrait of today's college student by understanding who they are, how they behave, and what they believe.

Key Variables: Areas covered by the items are academic involvement, academic integrity, campus involvement, health and wellness, technology use, media consumption, diversity issues, values and beliefs, and future aspirations.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Profile of an American College Student is administered to undergraduates at SJSU.


Student Evaluation of Teaching Program (SOTE/SOLATE)
(SJSU Student Evaluation Review Board and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: These evaluations are administered to examine the perceptions of enrolled students on the teaching effectiveness and learning experience (atmosphere) at the course level. The assessment refers to the two standardized rating instruments (SOTE and SOLATE) currently being used for collecting ratings at the end of each semester. Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness (SOTE) form is used in courses primarily taught in the traditional lecture/discussion mode. Student Opinion of Laboratory and Activity Teaching Effectiveness (SOLATE) form, on the other hand, is designated for use in laboratory/activity courses.

Key Variables: Items assess the perceptions of students on the teaching effectiveness and learning experience, including Content/Relevance (Q1, Q2), Helping Students Think (Q3, Q9, Q11), Learning Environment (Q4, Q5, Q8), Responsiveness to Students (Q6, Q7) and Grading/Feedback (Q10, Q12).

Target Population and Sample Frame: Starting spring 2013, SOTE & SOLATE were converted to on-line administration to replace the paper version. According to Senate policy F12-6, all classes must be evaluated each fall and spring semester.

For more information about this survey, visit Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness.

For more information about policy F12-6, visit Evaluation in Effectiveness in Teaching for all Faculty.


Student Needs and Priorities Survey (SNAPS)
(California State University System and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: SNAPS was developed by members of the California State University System in efforts to meet student needs. This survey assesses concerns, opinions, satisfaction, and needs of students related to quality of instruction, access to programs and services, campus climate, and perceived barriers to attainment of educational goals.

Key Variables: Items address importance and quality of services and resources at SJSU, service and resource needs, SJSU educational objectives, importance of factors in decision to attend, financial concerns, type and duration of community service, campus climate with respect to pluralism and diversity.

Target Population and Sampling Frame: The target population is the undergraduate student body. The survey is administered in the Spring semester to a 10% random sample of undergraduates, supplemented by a stratified random sample of undergraduate course/sections.

For more information about this survey, visit Student Needs and Priorities Survey.


Student Survey of Advising
(SJSU Advising Council and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: The Advising survey examines how students are currently using the academic advising resources on campus, and how they evaluate the effectiveness of the advice they receive.

Key Variables: Survey questions cover both general education (GE) advising and advising in the major. It explores how frequently students consulted advisors, which advisors they visited, the topics covered during advising sessions, the characteristics of their advisors, and their overall satisfaction with advising.

Target Population and Sampling Frame: This survey is administered to undergraduate students at SJSU.


Summer Survey
(SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: The Summer Survey is a fifteen minute survey administered to gain insight from SJSU students regarding what attracts them to take summer classes. Results are intended to help the university in promoting Summer enrollments in order to meet the demand for increased enrollments, support student progress toward degree completion and improve instructional facility utilization.

Key Variables: Items assess around four areas: a) assessing the level of student interest in Summer enrollment, b) establishing reasons for attending/not attending Summer semester, c) evaluating the existing Summer semester (both attendees and non-attendees) and d) gathering ideas about improvements.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered electronically to students possessing a valid MySJSU account. The samples included students who had and had not attended Summer semesters in the past at SJSU or elsewhere. It provided a way to obtain feedback about the experiences of those who had been enrolled in Summer as well as reasons why students who had not attended Summer semester in the past (but could have) chose not to attend.


WABASH Study of Liberal Arts Education (WABASH NSLAE)
(WABASH, ACT and SJSU Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics)

Description: In Spring 2006, San Jose State University was selected to participate in the Wabash Natinal Study of Liberal Arts Education (WABASH NSLAE). In collaboration with the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College and ACT, the study is a national longitudinal study that was designed to examine the educational progress of SJSU's fall 2006 freshman students during their collegiate experience (4+ years). These critical factors (critical thinking, making judgments, and college experiences) are investigated to determine the effects on the outcomes of liberal arts education. Two fundamental goals of the study are: 1) learning which teaching practices, programs, and institutional structures support liberal arts education and 2) developing faculty-friendly and institutionally useful methods of assessing liberal arts education.

Key Variables: Questions address three critical factors (critical thinking, making judgments, and college experiences) to determine the effects on the outcomes of liberal arts education. The WABASH NSLAE focuses on the development of seven outcomes associated with undergraduate liberal arts education and the educational conditions and experiences that foster these outcomes. The selected outcomes include: 1) Effective reasoning and problem solving, 2) Inclination to inquire and lifelong learning, 3) Integration of learning, 4) Intercultural effectiveness, 5) Leadership, 6) Moral reasoning and 7) Well-being.

Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys were administered in person to a sample of Fall 2006 first-time freshmen during their collegiate experience (4+ years). Surveys were also administered to the same students during Spring 2007 and Spring 2010. Interviews with a sub sample were conducted each fall from Fall 2007 to Fall 2009.

For more information about this survey, visit WABASH National Study of Liberal Arts Education.


HERI Your First College Year (YFCY)
(Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA)

Description: Your First College Year is a self-report follow up survey to CIRP Freshmen Survey designed to provide higher education practitioners and researchers with comprehensive information on the academic and personal development of first-year college students. The assessment inquires about a student's academic experience as well as personal and social experiences in their first year of college. This 25 minute survey also includes some items which are direct post-questions to the CIRP Freshmen Survey. Thus, when used with CIRP Freshmen Survey, YFCY provides the opportunity to examine student growth within their first year of college.

Key Variables: The survey items cover adjustment to campus life, institutional facilities, student services, academic engagement and disengagement, interaction with faculty, academic abilities, advising, remedial coursework, counseling, social life, residential life, volunteer work, employment status, religious practices, family obligation, and involvement with campus organizations.

Target Population and Sample Frame: YFCY is adminstered in the spring semester to all first year students.

For more information about this survey, visit Your First College Year.