NSS Information for Staff
What is the National Student Survey?
The National Student Survey (NSS) seeks the views of final year undergraduate students on their educational experience and the level of overall satisfaction with the quality of their course. The survey has been conducted on an annual basis since 2005. Results are made available at national level and enable comparison across the sector. Some more detailed results, including students’ freetext comments, are made available to individual institutions and can also be accessed by the Students’ Union.
Specifically, the survey asks students to rate their level of agreement with a series of 22 statements, which contribute to six overall thematic areas:
- The teaching on my course
- Assessment and Feedback
- Academic Support
- Organisation and Management
- Learning Resources
- Personal Development
Respondents are also invited to indicate their level of agreement with the general statement: “Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course”. The percentage of students who agree with this statement provide an “overall satisfaction” rating which is commonly used as the headline indicator of student satisfaction within individual institutions.
Students are also encouraged to provide freetext comments which reflect any particularly positive or negative aspects about their student experience. Since 2012, they have also be asked to rate their level of satisfaction with their Students’ Union.
NSS results are helping to inform and shape the way in which we manage the student experience at Cardiff. Academic Schools are now required to produce action plans which explain how they are reviewing, and responding to, NSS results.
Final year students had until the end of April to complete the 2012 NSS.
How staff can help
In order that we can gather as much evidence as possible to improve the student experience at Cardiff, it is vital that we maximise the response rate for the NSS. In 2011, Cardiff achieved a NSS response rate of 71% and in 2012 improved on this to achieve its highest ever rate of 78%.
Each week, designated School NSS staff contacts receive updates on current response rates in order that Schools, the University and the Students’ Union can encourage students to complete the survey.
To raise awareness of the NSS amongst students you might also consider:
- Publicising the NSS on noticeboards and information screens within your School – a range of paper and digital material can be accessed here.
- Raising awareness through newsletters, or by posting reminders on Learning Central.
- Providing dedicated time in lectures or lab sessions to complete the survey.
- Demonstrating how student feedback has led to change within your School. Whether through course evaluations, Student Staff Panels or “You Said We Did” posters, it’s important that students can see that their opinions are central to decision-making within both your School and the University
Support from the Students’ Union
Cardiff Students’ Union works in partnership with the University to promote the NSS through:
- Publicising the survey within the Union building
- Encouraging student reps to publicise the survey within their Schools, through Student Staff Panels and other meetings
- Visiting Schools, meeting with staff and helping to organise Lecture Shouts
Other useful information is available within the Resource Area, which includes presentation slides from Cardiff University’s recent NSS 2012 Launch Event. Also included is general information supplied by Ipsos MORI on the purpose, scope and reporting of the NSS. To access this password-protected information, please get in touch with Josie Green .