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					  University of Colorado at Boulder




Benchmark Comparisons
August 2006
                                                                                     Interpreting the Benchmark
                                                                                         Comparisons Report

To focus discussions about the importance of student engagement and guide institutional improvement efforts, NSSE created five
clusters or "benchmarks" of effective educational practice: (1) Level of academic challenge, (2) Active and collaborative learning,
(3) Student-faculty interaction, (4) Enriching educational experiences, and (5) Supportive campus environment. The Benchmark
Comparisons Report compares the performance of CU-Boulder with AAU peers. More detailed information about how
benchmarks are created can be found on the NSSE Web site at www.nsse.iub.edu/html/2006_inst_report.htm.




                                            Statistical Significance
                                            Benchmarks with mean differences that are larger than would be expected
                                            by chance alone are noted with one, two, or three asterisks, denoting one of
Class and Sample
                                            three significance levels (p<.05, p< .01, and p<.001). The smaller the
Means are reported for
                                            significance level, the smaller the likelihood that the difference is due to       Effect Size
first-year students and
                                            chance. Please note that statistical significance does not guarantee that the      Effect size indicates the
seniors (institution
                                            result is substantive or important. Large sample sizes (as with the NSSE           practical significance of the
reported). All
                                            project) tend to produce more statistically significant results even though        mean difference. It is
randomly selected
                                            the magnitude of mean differences may be inconsequential.                          calculated by dividing the
students are included
in these analyses.                                                                                                             mean difference by the
Students in targeted or                                                                                                        standard deviation of the
locally administered                                                                                                           group to which the institution
oversamples are not                                                                                                            is being compared (selected
included.                                                                                                                      peers, Carnegie peers, or all
                                                                                                                               NSSE 2006 schools). In
                                                                                                                               practice, an effect size of .2 is
                                                                                                                               often considered small, .5
                                                                                                                               moderate, and .8 large. A
                                                                                                                               positive sign indicates that
Mean                                                                                                                           your institution’s mean was
The mean is the                                                                                                                greater, thus showing an
weighted arithmetic                                                                                                            affirmative result for the
average of student                                                                                                             institution. A negative sign
level benchmark                                                                                                                indicates the institution lags
scores. Although                                                                                                               behind the comparison group.
institutional                                                                                                                  Look for patterns of effect
benchmark score                                                                                                                sizes that point to areas of
calculations have not                                                                                                          student or institutional
changed from prior                                                                                                             performance that warrant
years, reference group                                                                                                         attention.
calculations were
revised in 2005.




                                                                                                                               Bar Charts
Benchmark                                                                                                                      A visual display of first-year
Description & Survey                                                                                                           and senior mean benchmark
Items                                                                                                                          scores for CU-Boulder and
A description of the                                                                                                           AAU peers.
benchmark and the
individual items used in
its creation are
summarized.




1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.                    Page 2
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 3
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 4
the institution



ect size of .2 is




parison group.




                    1
                        U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 5
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 6
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 7
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 8
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 9
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 10
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 11
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 12
1
    U.S. institution reports include U.S. schools only. Canadian institution reports include U.S. and Canadian institutions.   Page 13
                                                                                                            NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                           University of Colorado at Boulder


    Level of Academic Challenge (LAC)
    Benchmark Comparisons


                                        CU Boulder                   AAUDE
                                                                                                Effect
                                                    a                        a         b               c
     Class                                   Mean                     Mean       Sig            Size
    First-Year                                51.3                    52.6       **             -.10
    Senior                                    56.8                    55.4       **             .10

                                    First-Year                                                                         Senior

      100                                                                              100




       75                                                                                  75


                                                                                                           56.8      55.4
                  51.3              52.6
       50                                                                                  50




       25                                                                                  25




        0                                                                                  0
               CU Boulder         AAUDE                                                                CU Boulder   AAUDE


    Level of Academic Challenge (LAC) Items
Challenging intellectual and creative work is central to student learning and collegiate quality. Colleges and universities promote high levels of
student achievement by emphasizing the importance of academic effort and setting high expectations for student performance.

● Preparing for class (studying, reading, writing, rehearsing, etc. related to academic program)
● Number of assigned textbooks, books, or book-length packs of course readings
● Number of written papers or reports of 20 pages or more; number of written papers or reports of between 5 and 19 pages; and
  number of written papers or reports of fewer than 5 pages
● Coursework emphasizing analysis of the basic elements of an idea, experience or theory
● Coursework emphasizing synthesis and organizing of ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations
  and relationships
● Coursework emphasizing the making of judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods
● Coursework emphasizing application of theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations
● Working harder than you thought you could to meet an instructor's standards or expectations
● Campus environment emphasizing time studying and on academic work




a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.                                                                   Page 14
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 15
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 16
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 17
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 18
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 19
                                                                                                            NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                           University of Colorado at Boulder


    Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL)
    Benchmark Comparisons


                                        CU Boulder                   AAUDE
                                                                                                Effect
                                                    a                        a         b               c
     Class                                   Mean                     Mean       Sig            Size
    First-Year                                39.6                    39.6
    Senior                                    48.0                    47.6

                                    First-Year                                                                         Senior

      100                                                                              100




       75                                                                                  75




                                                                                                           48.0      47.6
       50                                                                                  50
                   39.6             39.6



       25                                                                                  25




         0                                                                                  0
                CU Boulder         AAUDE                                                               CU Boulder   AAUDE


    Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) Items
Students learn more when they are intensely involved in their education and asked to think about what they are learning in different settings.
Collaborating with others in solving problems or mastering difficult material prepares students for the messy, unscripted problems they will
encounter daily during and after college.

●     Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions
●     Made a class presentation
●     Worked with other students on projects during class
●     Worked with classmates outside of class to prepare class assignments
●     Tutored or taught other students
●     Participated in a community-based project as part of a regular course
●     Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co-workers, etc.)




a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.                                                                   Page 20
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 21
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 22
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 23
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 24
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 25
                                                                                                            NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                           University of Colorado at Boulder


    Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI)
    Benchmark Comparisons


                                        CU Boulder                   AAUDE
                                                                                                Effect
                                                    a                        a         b               c
     Class                                   Mean                     Mean       Sig            Size
    First-Year                                29.6                    30.6
    Senior                                    40.4                    39.1        *              .07

                                    First-Year                                                                         Senior

      100                                                                              100




       75                                                                                  75




       50                                                                                  50
                                                                                                           40.4      39.1

                   29.6             30.6

       25                                                                                  25




         0                                                                                  0
                CU Boulder         AAUDE                                                               CU Boulder   AAUDE


    Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI) Items
Students learn firsthand how experts think about and solve practical problems by interacting with faculty members inside and outside the classroom.
As a result, their teachers become role models, mentors, and guides for continuous, life-long learning.

●     Discussed grades or assignments with an instructor
●     Talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor
●     Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with faculty members outside of class
●     Worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student-life activities, etc.)
●     Received prompt written or oral feedback from faculty on your academic performance
●     Worked with a faculty member on a research project outside of course or program requirements




a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.                                                                   Page 26
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 27
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 28
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 29
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 30
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 31
                                                                                                            NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                          University of Colorado at Boulder


    Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE)
    Benchmark Comparisons


                                        CU Boulder                   AAUDE
                                                                                               Effect
                                                    a                        a         b              c
     Class                                   Mean                     Mean       Sig           Size
    First-Year                                27.5                    29.4       ***           -.15
    Senior                                    40.7                    42.7       ***           -.12

                                    First-Year                                                                        Senior

      100                                                                              100




       75                                                                              75




       50                                                                              50
                                                                                                                    42.7
                                                                                                          40.7


                   27.5             29.4

       25                                                                              25




         0                                                                                 0
                CU Boulder         AAUDE                                                              CU Boulder   AAUDE


    Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE) Items
Complementary learning opportunities enhance academic programs. Diversity experiences teach students valuable things about themselves and
others. Technology facilitates collaboration between peers and instructors. Internships, community service, and senior capstone courses provide
opportunities to integrate and apply knowledge.

●     Participating in co-curricular activities (organizations, publications, student government, sports, etc.)
●     Practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment
●     Community service or volunteer work
●     Foreign language coursework & study abroad
●     Independent study or self-designed major
●     Culminating senior experience (capstone course, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, etc.)
●     Serious conversations with students of different religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values
●     Serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity
●     Using electronic technology to discuss or complete an assignment
●     Campus environment encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds
●     Participate in a learning community or some other formal program where groups of students take two or more classes together



a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.                                                                   Page 32
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 33
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 34
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 35
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 36
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 37
                                                                                                            NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                           University of Colorado at Boulder


    Supportive Campus Environment (SCE)
    Benchmark Comparisons


                                        CU Boulder                   AAUDE
                                                                                                Effect
                                                    a                        a         b               c
     Class                                   Mean                     Mean       Sig            Size
    First-Year                                55.1                    57.9       ***            -.16
    Senior                                    48.2                    53.4       ***            -.30

                                    First-Year                                                                         Senior

      100                                                                              100




       75                                                                                  75


                                    57.9
                   55.1                                                                                              53.4
                                                                                                           48.2
       50                                                                                  50




       25                                                                                  25




         0                                                                                  0
                CU Boulder         AAUDE                                                               CU Boulder   AAUDE


    Supportive Campus Environment (SCE) Items
Students perform better and are more satisfied at colleges that are committed to their success and cultivate positive working and social relations
among different groups on campus.

●     Campus environment provides the support you need to help you succeed academically
●     Campus environment helps you cope with your non-academic responsibilities (work, family, etc.)
●     Campus environment provides the support you need to thrive socially
●     Quality of relationships with other students
●     Quality of relationships with faculty members
●     Quality of relationships with administrative personnel and offices




a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.                                                                   Page 38
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 39
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 40
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 41
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 42
a
    Weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size.
b
    * p<.05 ** p<.01 ***p<.001 (2-tailed).
c
    Mean difference divided by comparison group standard deviation.   Page 43
                                                                                                NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                Detailed Statistics and Effect Sizes a
                                                                                              University of Colorado at Boulder

    First-Year Students
                                                                                                                               Reference Group
                                                 Mean Statistics                      Distribution Statistics                Comparison Statistics
                                                                                              Percentiles            Mean                            Effect
                                N            Mean       SD         SE             5      25       50      75    95   Diff.      SE      Sig.          size


LEVEL OF ACADEMIC CHALLENGE (LAC)
              CU Boulder         1,020       51.3      12.6        .4            31      42      52      60     72
                 AAUDE           8,342       52.6      12.6        .1            32      44      53      61     73   -1.3        .4     .002         -.10



ACTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING (ACL)
              CU Boulder         1,079       39.6      15.2        .5            19      29      38      48     67
                 AAUDE           9,088       39.6      15.1        .2            19      29      38      48     67    .0         .5     .929             .00



STUDENT-FACULTY INTERACTION (SFI)
              CU Boulder         1,021       29.6      17.5        .5             6      17      28      39     61
                 AAUDE           8,419       30.6      16.9        .2            11      17      28      39     61   -1.0        .6     .071         -.06



ENRICHING EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES (EEE)
              CU Boulder         1,013       27.5      13.3        .4            10      19      26      35     51
                 AAUDE           8,166       29.4      12.7        .1            11      21      28      37     52   -1.9        .4     .000         -.15



SUPPORTIVE CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT (SCE)
              CU Boulder         1,007       55.1      17.2        .5            25      44      56      67     83
                 AAUDE           8,050       57.9      17.3        .2            31      47      58      69     86   -2.8        .6     .000         -.16




a
  All statistics weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size. The N is weighted to show
the correct degrees of freedom for the statistical tests.                                                                                      Page 44
a
  All statistics weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size. The N is weighted to show
the correct degrees of freedom for the statistical tests.                                                   Page 45
                                                                                                NSSE 2006 Benchmark Comparisons
                                                                                                Detailed Statistics and Effect Sizes a
                                                                                              University of Colorado at Boulder

    Seniors
                                                                                                                               Reference Group
                                                 Mean Statistics                      Distribution Statistics                Comparison Statistics
                                                                                              Percentiles            Mean                            Effect
                                N            Mean       SD         SE             5      25       50      75    95   Diff.      SE      Sig.          size


LEVEL OF ACADEMIC CHALLENGE (LAC)
              CU Boulder         1,099       56.8      13.8        .4            35      47      56      67     77
                 AAUDE         10,259        55.4      13.6        .1            33      46      56      65     78    1.4        .4     .001             .10



ACTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING (ACL)
              CU Boulder         1,131       48.0      15.2        .5            24      38      48      57     71
                 AAUDE         10,862        47.6      16.2        .2            24      38      48      57     76    .4         .5     .383             .03



STUDENT-FACULTY INTERACTION (SFI)
              CU Boulder         1,101       40.4      20.4        .6            11      22      39      56     78
                 AAUDE         10,342        39.1      19.8        .2            11      22      33      50     78    1.3        .6     .042             .07



ENRICHING EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES (EEE)
              CU Boulder         1,096       40.7      16.3        .5            14      29      40      52     69
                 AAUDE         10,106        42.7      16.9        .2            17      31      42      55     71   -2.0        .5     .000         -.12



SUPPORTIVE CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT (SCE)
              CU Boulder         1,090       48.2      16.5        .5            19      36      50      58     78
                 AAUDE           9,991       53.4      17.4        .2            25      42      53      67     83   -5.2        .6     .000         -.30




a
  All statistics weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size. The N is weighted to show
the correct degrees of freedom for the statistical tests.                                                                                      Page 46
a
  All statistics weighted by gender, enrollment status, and institutional size. The N is weighted to show
the correct degrees of freedom for the statistical tests.                                                   Page 47

				
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