What does student engagement mean?

CEL were involved in a debate about the nature of engagement with a department in the Faculty of Management this afternoon.  Before being able to tackle the subject of how to improve engagement, we needed to define what we mean by engagement.

We looked at engagement from both the lecturer and student perspective and started to wonder if both parties see engagement in the same way.  We listed out some of the ways in which lecturers perceive this topic such a pre-reading for seminars, being present during lectures, fulfilling agreements, advising if absent from a lecture or seminar etc.  We noted the different engagement prospects when faced with a large lecture theatre compared to a smaller seminar group.

Do students see engagement in the same way?  We debated how a ‘strategic student’ is likely to focus on the end result and choose to engage in those activities that lead them there.  We also spoke about those students with a deep interest in their chosen subjects and who are fully engaged in all unit activities.

What type of engagement patterns do you see and how do you effectively engage with students?

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