Student Engagement and Student Learning: Testing the Linkages

This study examines (1) the extent to which student engagement is associated with experimental and traditional measures of academic performance, (2) whether the relationships between engagement and academic performance are conditional, and (3) whether institutions differ in terms of their ability to convert student engagement into academic performance. The sample consisted of 1058 students at 14 four-year colleges and universities that completed several instruments during 2002. Many measures of student engagement were linked positively with such desirable learning outcomes as critical thinking and grades, although most of the relationships were weak in strength. The results suggest that the lowest-ability students benefit more from engagement than classmates, first-year students and seniors convert different forms of engagement into academic achievement, and certain institutions more effectively convert student engagement into higher performance on critical thinking tests. [1]

Improving student engagement: Ten proposals for action

Since the 1980s an extensive research literature has investigated how to improve student success in higher education focusing on student outcomes such as retention, completion and employability. A parallel research programme has focused on how students engage with their studies and what they, institutions and educators can do to enhance their engagement, and hence success. This article reports on two syntheses of research literature on student engagement and how this can be enhanced. It first synthesizes 93 research studies from ten countries to develop a conceptual organizer for student engagement that consists of four perspectives identified in the research: student motivation; transactions between teachers and students; institutional support; and engagement for active citizenship. Secondly, the article synthesizes findings from these perspectives as ten propositions for improving student engagement in higher education. It concludes by identifying some limitations with the conceptual organizer and one suggestion for developing a more integrated approach to student engagement. [2]

Measuring cognitive and psychological engagement: Validation of the Student Engagement Instrument

A review of relevant literatures led to the construction of a self-report instrument designed to measure two subtypes of student engagement with school: cognitive and psychological engagement. The psychometric properties of this measure, the Student Engagement Instrument (SEI), were assessed based on responses of an ethnically and economically diverse urban sample of 1931 ninth grade students. Factor structures were obtained using exploratory factor analyses (EFAs) on half of the dataset, with model fit examined using confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) on the other half of the dataset. The model displaying the best empirical fit consisted of six factors, and these factors correlated with expected educational outcomes. Further research is suggested in the iterative process of developing the SEI, and the implications of these findings are discussed. [3]

Evaluating the Students’ Level of Cognitive Engagement to Achieve English Language Curriculum Objectives at International Islamic School, Gombak

This study evaluates the level of cognitive engagement in English class among secondary school students of International Islamic School in Gombak, Malaysia. Specifically, the objective of this research is to appraise the students’ commitments in English class by observing their level of cognitive engagement, which can be deep or shallow; and this is done considering their gender, age and grades. The school has five grades (7-11) and the research was conducted in January 2014. It involves 191 participants (male and female) by using purposive sampling, ages range between 13 to 18 years. Data were obtained through questionnaire, which contains a 5-point Likerts scale. However, descriptive statistics was used to describe the level of cognitive engagement employed by the students in English language class. Thus, the overall results show that deep engagement is more associated with male students while shallow engagement is associated with their female counterparts. In terms of age, the result reveals those students of the ages 13, 14, 15, and 18, display deep engagement than their colleagues aged 12, 16 and 17. Similarly, concerning grade, students in grade 9 and 10, display deep engagement; whereas those in grade 7, 8, and 11 display shallow engagement in English language class. Therefore, it is recommended that, English teachers should employ all possible efforts in teaching and organizing activities that would enhance females’ attitudes towards deep engagement. [4]

Relationship between Students’ Learning Strategies and their Cognitive Engagement at International Islamic School Gombak

This study investigates the relationship between students’ learning strategies and their cognitive engagement in English class at International Islamic School in Gombak, Malaysia. Explicitly, the research intends to fathom the correlation between three learning strategies (cognitive, meta-cognitive and social) and students’ level of cognitive engagement that include deep and shallow engagement. This research was carried out with 191 students (male and female), who constitute the respondents of the study. Their ages vary from 13 to18 years. Data were collected using a questionnaire, employing a five (5) point Likert’s scale. However, correlations as statistical inference were employed in testing the relationships between learning strategies and cognitive engagement. The findings reveal that significant and positive correlations were found between three types of learning strategies (cognitive, meta-cognitive and social) with cognitive engagement. Subsequently, a significant negative correlation was also found between deep and shallow engagement, portraying an inverse relationship. Thus, teachers at International Islamic school Gombak have to dedicate themselves in preparing classroom instructions or activities that exhibit elements of cognitive, meta-cognitive and social strategies. This however, in essence, could help the students to exert mental efforts, pay attention and become active during lessons, which all indicate signs of cognitive engagement. [5]


[1] Carini, R.M., Kuh, G.D. and Klein, S.P., 2006. Student engagement and student learning: Testing the linkages. Research in higher education, 47(1), pp.1-32.

[2] Zepke, N. and Leach, L., 2010. Improving student engagement: Ten proposals for action. Active learning in higher education, 11(3), pp.167-177.

[3] Appleton, J.J., Christenson, S.L., Kim, D. and Reschly, A.L., 2006. Measuring cognitive and psychological engagement: Validation of the Student Engagement Instrument. Journal of school psychology, 44(5), pp.427-445.

[4] Sani, A. and Noraini Hashim, C. (2016) “Evaluating the Students’ Level of Cognitive Engagement to Achieve English Language Curriculum Objectives at International Islamic School, Gombak”, Advances in Research, 8(2), pp. 1-16. doi: 10.9734/AIR/2016/29456.

[5] Sani, A. (2017) “Relationship between Students’ Learning Strategies and their Cognitive Engagement at International Islamic School Gombak”, Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 20(2), pp. 1-15. doi: 10.9734/BJAST/2017/32382.

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