Editor’s note: Elissa Kroeger was previously employed at The Daily Nebraskan.
Freshmen and seniors have until April 28 to fill out an online survey to help better the university, and if they do so, they can receive a free T-shirt.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln administers the National Survey of Student Engagement every three years to freshmen and seniors so it can can identify trends in student engagement and identify places where it can improve programs.
The survey should be in the eligible student’s email. Students who didn’t receive the email cannot take the survey, according to Amy Goodburn, the senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education.
Goodburn and her team agreed the survey and the data it collects is important enough to give away a limited number of Grit and Glory T-shirts and free Dunkin’ Donuts vouchers as an incentive to participate this year.
“We value students’ time in taking the survey and wanted to provide a small thank you,” she said.
Currently, 22% of eligible students have taken the survey, which Goodburn said is comparable to previous years’ surveys.
The current survey includes new questions this year, Goodburn said, to help UNL.
“This year we are piloting some new questions focused on diversity and inclusion on our campus,” she said. “So, we really want student participation so that we can collect useful data that we can use to improve as a campus.”
However, without students taking the survey, it is hard to find what administrators need to fix on campus.
“I take the surveys because some data is better than no student data,” Elissa Kroeger, a senior global studies, Spanish and journalism triple major, said. “I want to do what I can to help.”
This is exactly what Goodburn said she believes could motivate students aside from the material objects offered.
Previous survey results provided insight that students would benefit from events and programs like Husker Dialogues and the First Year Experience and Transition Programs offices.
The two are ways to engage freshmen with each other and others once they arrive on campus.
Husker Dialogues is an annual event that started in 2016 for freshmen to listen to stories from upperclassmen about their experience on campus before breaking into small groups to discuss issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.
The First Year Experience Office is open to help new students to help them find the resources they need and offer assistance and advice for anyone that is confused about where to find help students in and out of the classroom.
The survey is available until after dead week and T-shirts are currently available while supplies last, so the team will keep the advertisements on social media and throughout UNL screens in libraries and public spaces to remind students to take part.
Kroeger said she has seen the advertisements and said they’re hard to miss.“In the past we have used social media to encourage students to take the NSSE,” Goodburn said. “This year we developed a coordinated plan for such messages.”
These messages are on Canvas, in dining halls and on Twitter and Facebook because many students have yet to take the survey, which Goodburn said she understands.
“Students are bombarded with lots of different requests to take surveys, and they are busy with their classes and other obligations,” Goodburn said. “We really appreciate those students who are willing to take the time to take the NSSE survey.”