Strategies to engage students in meaningful learning experiences

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contribution


    The term ‘engagement’ has become a catchphrase within the HE learning environment, used by teaching practitioners to describe how they hope students will behave in their contact sessions. The term represents the energy, time and enthusiasm that teachers hope students are able to give in their learning activities. It is also the term teachers hoped to be described as by the students themselves, but what does this transpire to in reality? There has been previous research on what makes for great teaching (Coe, Aloisi, Higgins and Elliot-Major 2014), and what student expectations are for resources (Hattie 2012).
    With the new generation of students changing expectations of University and wanting more stimulus further research is needed to ascertain what students believe motivates them to learn and have enjoyable learning experiences.
    The workshop is designed around research that was collected in two stages. Stage one included the video recording of classroom sessions and students completion of the critical incident questionnaire (CIQ) on a weekly basis for 7 weeks. This was based on previous work by Brookfield (1995) who used the questionnaire to allow students to suggest different ways that they're thinking critically, and the pace to introduce certain topics. The CIQ identified which activities or parts of the lesson were deemed engaging, confusing or disengaging and short qualitative answers on why. The video was analysed using sports code to pinpoint moments of engagement, disengagement and confusion from students based on the CIQ responses. Stage two of data collection involved focus groups with the students using clips of video to further comment on as well as questions based on video analysis and CIQ results.
    Findings were that activities such as group work, formative presentations and class debate all ranked high with student engagement. However, the manor that these activities were delivered greatly impacted on how they were received, from sufficient resources or the actual content of discussion, to how many students were put into sub-groups for discussion. The project aims to critically analyse what the collective definition is of engagement between students and teaching staff, to help understand the pedagogical approach needed. As well as understand the role enjoyment plays in classroom sessions. This includes students’ actively using their voice to analyse their own learning preferences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSEDA AUTUMN CONFERENCE 2019
    Subtitle of host publicationNew frontiers in educational and curriculum development
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019
    EventStaff and Educational Development (SEDA) Autumn Conference - DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre , Leeds, United Kingdom
    Duration: 13 Nov 201915 Nov 2019


    ConferenceStaff and Educational Development (SEDA) Autumn Conference
    Abbreviated titleSEDA
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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