National Student Survey

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National Student Survey

This tutorial is based around responses to the National Student Survey. The raw data, originally from HEFCE is available as tab delimited file NSS_2014_FT.txt

There are around 50,000 objects of type NSS to be checked. Each object gives the details of the responses made to one question by the students studying one subject at one institution. For example - students studying "(8) Computer Science" at "Edinburgh Napier" gave the following responses to question 22 ("Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course"):

{institution:Edinburgh Napier University,question:22,subject:(8) Computer Science,score:93,response:146,sample:200,answered:[3,1,3,51,42]}
  • In all, 146 students answered that question in the survey
  • Exactly 200 students were eligible to take the survey
  • The score was 93% for that question (percentage mostly agree plus percentage definitely agree)
  • 3% definitely disagreed with the statement, 1% mostly disagreed, 3% were neutral, 51% mostly agreed and 42 definitely agreed

SET07102 Software Development Assessment

import java.util.*;
public class NSS {
	public String UKPRN; // A unique identifier for each institution
	public String institution; // The name of the institution
	public String subject; // The subject of the degree studied
	public String level; // You may ignore this field
	public int question; // Questions numbered 1-22
	public int score;    // Total of agree and definitely agree
	public int[] answered; // The percentage of students who responded
	public int response; // Number of students who responded
	public int sample; // The number of students eligible to respond
	public boolean aggregate;  // You may ignore this field
	//Responses are coded in the answered array
	//For example answered[NSS.MOSTLY_AGREE] gives the number of students
	//Who responded AGREE to that question
	public static int DEFINITELY_DISAGREE = 0;
	public static int MOSTLY_DISAGREE = 1;
	public static int NEITHER = 2;
	public static int MOSTLY_AGREE = 3;
	public static int DEFINITELY_AGREE = 4;

The questions asked in the survey are:

  • Q01 "Staff are good at explaining things",
  • Q02 "Staff have made the subject interesting",
  • Q03 "Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching",
  • Q04 "The course is intellectually stimulating",
  • Q05 "The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance",
  • Q06 "Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair",
  • Q07 "Feedback on my work has been prompt",
  • Q08 "I have received detailed comments on my work",
  • Q09 "Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand",
  • Q10 "I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies",
  • Q11 "I have been able to contact staff when I needed to",
  • Q12 "Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices",
  • Q13 "The timetable works efficiently as far as my activities are concerned",
  • Q14 "Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively",
  • Q15 "The course is well organised and is running smoothly",
  • Q16 "The library resources and services are good enough for my needs",
  • Q17 "I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to",
  • Q18 "I have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities, or rooms when I needed to",
  • Q19 "The course has helped me to present myself with confidence",
  • Q20 "My communication skills have improved",
  • Q21 "As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems",
  • Q22 "Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course"