How students rate their experiences at 62 Canadian schools -

How students rate their experiences at 62 Canadian schools

Results from the National Survey of Student Engagement


Click on the charts below to see results from the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), a study that university administrators pore over each year to find out how their students are learning. Both first and senior-year students have answered questions that illustrate how well their universities performed on the five Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice: level of academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, active and collaborative learning, enriching educational experience, and supportive campus environment. You may be surprised about who’s on top. It’s not always the same schools that rank highly in the Maclean’s University Rankings.

Select a chart below. On the next screen, place your cursor over the chart and click to enlarge.


How students rate their experiences at 62 Canadian schools

  1. Uh, NSSE is not a teaching evaluation survey, and it is not linked to professors or individual classroom experiences. From the NSSE website:

    “Survey items onThe College Student Report represent empirically confirmed “good practices” in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college. NSSE doesn’t assess student learning directly, but survey results point to areas where colleges and universities are performing well and aspects of the undergraduate experience that could be improved.”

    Claiming that NSSE measures “how well their professors are teaching” is, at best, inaccurate and at worst misleading.

    • I see your point. I have updated the wording.

  2. Canada should be able to compete with smaller elite colleges in the US because we do not have quite the level of entrenched incompetence as in US education, where vested interests rule.

    It is also easy to see systemic US limitations, but analysis is slow moving. In The NYT, there have been some good stories on the depredations of Pearson, but much of the activity (at The Choice blog) is mere facilitation of old-fashioned nonsense such as the SAT.

    One way to start refocusing the education industry in Canada would be to study college and university summer programs for high school students. OnCampus could set out to examine such programs in Canada, beginning with Toronto.

    The current numbers in the NSSE are not encouraging for Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver universities, in the main. In fact, the numbers are atrocious. Equally bizarre is the lack of inspired comment on those numbers. Canadians, it appears, are anxious to prove just how functionally innumerate they are.

    We might cast a shrewd eye on Amherst, Massachusetts, as a possible model, for its potential for summer boarding courses for high school students. The state of Massachusetts is languishing in education, as proven by the fact that it needed a waiver from President Obama because it could not even meet the mild requirements of No Child Left Behind. Therefore, you might think that Amherst College would have the power course for at least each July on Emily Dickinson, implying that students would have been required to read her poetry in Harvard’s Helen Vendler’s major recent selection with commentary before showing up.

    But I do not see such a course at Amherst College. One of my students has applied to Smith College, just down the road, where the info on the writing/poetry course does not focus on Emily Dickinson, and does not indicate that there will be bus trips to Amherst to study her environment.

    UMass Amherst is one of America’s best universities for linguistics, but I do not see excellent summer courses there so that high school students would absorb the sound systems of English and the COBUILD English Grammar. I do not see courses in Mark Ashcraft’s “Cognition,” jointly taught by Smith, UMass Amherst, and Amherst College.

    What Canada should do is shed all of the obsolete assumptions that diminish summer programs for American high school students, and give major universities in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver incentives to run the world’s best summer programs for students in grades 8-12, in one month or six week programs.

    One wonders what goes on in the mind of the benumbed federal civil servant, when he gazes bleary-eyed at these atrocious NSSE numbers for universities in our three “most advanced” cities, and just quietly turns the page. And sips on his coffee, dreaming of a vacation in Florida.

    No doubt he sends out an urgent Napoleonic APB: “Package up a few more $B for universities in our three great cities of Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Swallow their PR wholesale. Ask no questions. If you rock the boat, I will have your vacation cancelled.”

    • Thanks for your comment. Next time, please keep it to a more reasonable length.

      • LOL.

  3. Looks like Quest University came out on top in every category.

  4. Pingback: Universities | Ms. H's Class Blog

  5. Pingback: Western News | Huron tops student experience rankings