On Feb. 19, the faculty senate discussed the engagement of students and whether or not students are satisfied with their tenure here on campus, solutions about improving the interface of Blackboard were also apart of the discussion.
As the meeting started, Karen Kolehmainen, College of Natural Sciences Representative and Chair of the Faculty Senate, presented a review of the previous meeting’s minutes. Also, other senators around the room presented updates and highlights about the respective colleges.
Their focus for the meeting was the rising concern of student engagement at CSUSB, reports from the National Survey of Student Engagement, stated that student engagement has decreased from years past.
The National Survey of Student Engagement conducts its surveys every three years and just conducted their most recent survey for Fall 2018. The survey asked first year and senior students about a wide range of topics regarding the engagement of students. These topics included: Higher-Order Learning, Reflective & Integrative Learning, Learning Strategies, Quantitative Reasoning, Collaborative Learning, Discussion with Diverse Others, Student-Faculty Interaction, Effective Teaching Practices, Quality of Interactions and Supportive Environment.
The concern stems from the difference between the first year students and the seniors. Seniors were shown to be more involved and their experience here at CSUSB is rated higher than the students who are still in their first year.
The problem is the engagement experience that CSUSB students have compared to other CSUs who have conducted the same study. Senators were concerned about finding ways to resolve some of the concerns that were raised from the statistics.
Red flags were raised when the numbers were brought up about the ‘Student-Faculty Interaction’, with it being the lowest scoring category out of all the categories that were surveyed.
Within the category of Student-Faculty Interaction, there were sub-categories that described what it consists of. These sub-categories and their scores (Freshmen & Seniors) include:
- Talked about career plans with a faculty member (2.1 & 2.4)
- Worked with a faculty member on activities other than coursework (1.6 & 1.8)
- Discussed course topics, ideas or concepts with a faculty member outside of class (1.8 & 2.0)
- Discussed your academic performance with a faculty member (2.0 & 2.2)
The scale ranges from 1-4 and the averages from both the freshmen and the seniors were way below what the faculty senate expected.
The National Survey of Student Engagement at CSUSB revealed that students who rated higher, have higher engagement rates when it comes to engaging with other faculty members or with the various opportunities that the campus has to offer.
Since CSUSB is a commuter school, some of the concerns of student engagement have been understood and will continue to have high significance.
The conclusion of this section of the meeting ended with some optimism about how the campus should tackle these situations in the near future. The discussion ended with a focus on heightening the overall experience of the average CSUSB student. No solution have been presented, but, the objective of increasing the student engagement rating is still of high importance.