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Reviving ghost-town like lecture and tutorials – Linking engagement and assessment

Rivers, CB and Anninou, AI (2015) Reviving ghost-town like lecture and tutorials – Linking engagement and assessment

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In and outside class participation have been described as being a vital component for student progression in tertiary education (Kahu, 2013). However, participation doesn’t equal student engagement (Trowler, 2010), participation is part of student engagement. Coates (2007) says that student engagement is a broad construct that links academic and non-academic aspects relevant to the student experience such as active and collaborative learning, participation in challenging academic activities, formative communication with academic staff, involvement in enriching educational experience and feeling legitimate and supported by university’s learning communities. Trowler (2010) referred to three dimensions of student engagement: positive, negative and non-engagement. Ideally students show positive engagement throughout a semester long module, however observations of the developmental paper presented here, have shown that students’ engagement is really high during the first weeks of each semester (especially due to the fact that all necessary assessment information is delivered at that point) however the rest of the weeks can be characterised as teaching in a ‘ghost town’. So, why does this happen and what can we do to increase and maintain positive student engagement? Bryson and Hand (2007) and Zepke and Leach (2010) pointed out that student engagement is a multi-faceted process, a continuum from disengagement to engagement with three levels and degrees of engagement. Levels of engagement are between staff and student, which is understood as discourse, between staff and subjects, which is defined as enthusiasm and between staff and the teaching process, which is called professionalism. Certainly, enthusiasm plays a significant role in engaging students (Kunter et al, 2011; Kunter, 2013) on a behavioural, emotional and cognitive level (Coates, 2007). Kunter et al (2011) point out that enthusiasm is associated with positive and intrinsic motivation and can enforce such characteristics in students. Enthusiasm is described as a person-specific characteristic and depending on the high or low intrinsic motivation of a teacher towards a topic or the activity of teaching itself can vary. In contrast the degrees of engagement refer to students’ engagement with a task, the students’ engagement with a specific module and the students’ engagement with the course. These three degrees of engagement are key as they are all related to one specific goal of a student: achieving the expected grade (Kuh, 2001). Findings of Bryson and Hand (2007) case study emphasise that assessment is the key feature for engagement, thus enthusiasm or the levels of engagements mentioned above might only facilitate engagement (Carini et al, 2006). Understanding how to achieve positive levels and degrees of engagement by linking it to the motivational factor of assessment is the central focus of this paper in order to overcome ghost-town like classrooms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Anninou, AI
Date : 6 July 2015
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:35
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 15:04

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