Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Student Engagement

The "Engagement Theory" is based around the best way to get students to engage with the coursework at hand. When someone is interested or "engaged" in what they are doing, their results are much higher than that of someone who isn't. A student's interest in a particular assessment or project is motivated by a number of things and the "Engagement Theory" aims to focus on this.

The "Engagement Theory" is focused on using technology (although it admits this not necessary), group work, independent learning and pride to engage students in learning. It is most commonly summarised at the "Relate-Create-Donate" principle, where students relate with one another to create a solution to a task which it to be dontated to someone else.

My example of an learning activity which uses this method (my example is based on a Year 7 Primary School Class):

  • Students are broken up into groups of 3.
  • Together they are to create a book for a Year 1 student.
  • It can be any type of book, but must be suitable for a 6 year old.
  • The book is to be complete - with a story, illustrations, and bound together in some form.
  • In conjunction with the school, the students then read their book to a group of three Year 1 Students.
  • Marking will be based on team efficiency, quality of the book as well as it's presentation to the Year 1 Students.

This assessment allows for all of the criteria used in the "Engagement Theory". Students work together in teams (Relate) , create a storybook (Create) for the entertainment of a younger student (Donate) . In this instance, technology would probably play a major role in student communication over weekend, as well as the physical creation of the book and possibly the illustrations in them. Technology would also play a major role for those students choosing to base their books on fact as it will need to be researched, a task the Internet is extremely well suited to.

Engagement Theory: A Framework for Technology-based Teaching and Learning, Greg Kearsley & Ben Shneiderman

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