Knowing what it means for students to be engaged in classroom learning and how to measure this complex variable is a challenge in any learning environment. One logical approach which can be taken to defining it is to consider the behavioral (actions), emotional (feelings) and cognitive (investment of efforts) engagement of students during learning (Fredericks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004). Another big question is what sources of data can be used to quantify these variables. Past research has generally shown clear preferences for measuring student engagement with observations schemes (Guilloteaux & Dörnyei, 2008; Stroud, 2013; Volpe, DiPerna, Hintze & Shapiro, 2005), self-reported student surveys and interviews (Fredericks, Blumenfeld, Friedel & Paris, 2005; Skinner, Kidderman & Furrer, 2009) and with experience sampling (Shernoff & Schmidt, 2008). Each of these approaches can offer clear advantages and disadvantages in research and combining and using them effectively to measure how engaged students are can be difficult. An experiment involving several classes of First-year Japanese University students studying English looked at how to measure the behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement of students in their English communication classes. A combination of surveys, interviews, observations schemes and self-managed diaries were used to obtain an overview of student engagement in discussion activities across time. Conclusions about the combined measurement of engagement in such a way will be discussed and recommendations for applying similar measures to a variety of differing learning environments offered.
Robert Stroud, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan
Stream: Psychology and Education
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