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Academic Experiences Survey Methodology


To better understand NDSU undergraduate norms and perceptions related to academic behaviors and attitudes, we created and administered the NDSU Academic Experiences Survey in Spring 2015.  This survey asks students to simultaneously rate themselves (actual norm) and most NDSU students (perceived norm) on 39 behaviors and attitudes related to academic success.  We asked them things like:

  • How committed are you to earning a degree at NDSU?
  • What percent of the time do you attend class?
  • How many hours a week do you spend preparing for class?
  • How often to you interact with a faculty member outside of class for research or special projects?
  • How often do you attend campus events?
  • How often do you check your NDSU email?  Blackboard?


In order to talk about campus norms, it was very important to have a survey sample that is proportionately representative of NDSU undergraduates in terms GPA range, academic level (i.e., freshman to senior), and ethnicity.  We accomplished this with a stratified random sample resulting in 816 completed surveys, 789 of which were used in the analyses.


In general, students rated themselves as engaging in more positive academic behaviors and attitudes than their peers.  Stated differently, students underestimate the extent to which their peers engage in positive academic behaviors and attitudes.  In addition, students with higher GPAs report engaging in more positive academic behaviors and attitudes than students with lower GPAs.

Norming Statement Targeting

In order to identify key areas for a norming messaging campaign, gaps were identified between what students reported for themselves (actual norm) and what they estimated for most NDSU students (perceived norm)—It is our goal to diminish the size of these gaps via a messaging campaign publicizing actual norms.  The messaging campaign will primarily target areas with the largest gaps.


We will re-administer the NDSU Academic Experiences Survey Spring 2016 and assess changes in perception gap and academic behaviors and attitudes.

Contact Information

For questions on the survey used to gather this information, contact researcher Mark Hanson, Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, at or 702-231-5812.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Student Success Programs
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8379 or Toll free: +1 (800) 488-NDSU menu option 2 / Fax: (701) 231-6253
Campus address: West Dining Center Lower Level
Physical/delivery address: 1500 15th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2838 / P.O. Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 4:14:27 PM
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