Annotated Bibliography

1. Annetta, L., Minogue, J., Holmes S.Y., & Cheng M.T. (2009). Investigating the impact of video games on high school students’ engagement and learning about genetics. Computers & Education, 53(1), 74-85. 

            The study’s purpose was to determine if students were more engaged and developed a deeper understanding while playing a Multiplayer Educational Gaming Application (MEGA) when compared to students engaged in traditional instruction. One hundred and twenty nine high school biology students participated in quasi-experimental research in which sixty-six students interacted with MEGA while reviewing a genetics unit, and a comparison group of sixty three students completed their review using paper, pencil and class discussions. Before the students completed the test following the review, the researchers calculated the students’ average grades from both groups. Researchers assessed student engagement through classroom observations and videotapes. Findings revealed that students who interacted with MEGA were more engaged in their learning than students in the comparison group. Student scores on the test showed no major differences between the two groups. Implications identified that the engagement results from the MEGA group indicated that students were focused, but their lack of previous experience with the gaming platform could mean they were primarily engaged in understanding the game design itself. The engagement results suggested that students can learn from game play, and educators developing and implementing MEGAs in learning environments should be offered professional development and support.                 

2. Badge, J. L., Saunders, N.F.W., Cann, A.J. (2012). Beyond marks: new tools to visualise student engagement via social networks. Research in Learning Technology, 20(1), DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0/16283

            The purpose of the study was to investigate whether student involvement in a social network setting could provide results to help recognize student engagement in education. Two hundred and fifty first year undergraduate students at the University of Leicester were involved in action research because the researchers made changes to the research approach as students engaged with the social network. Researchers assessed the academic contributions students made to the Friendfeed social network, and they collected qualitative feedback. Findings suggested that female students made more online contributions than males; however, males were more focussed on meeting assessment criteria. Feedback from students was mainly positive; 15% of students continued to use Friendfeed after the assessment period. Implications identified that object-oriented social networks provide a social aspect that encourages student engagement. Assigning marks to online tasks that students view as clearly associated with course material promotes engagement. Teaching staff needs to make sure they have sufficient network connections with every student, especially to build connections with struggling students. The positive outcomes suggested that educators should continue to develop a social approach using online networks that can support and engage students in their academic experience.                                                

3. Bradshaw, P., Powell S., & Terrell, I. (2005). Developing engagement in Ultralab’s online communities of enquiry. Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 42(3), 205-215.

            The study’s purpose was to investigate learner engagement and participation in online higher education and how it is affected by several factors, including the learner’s view of purpose, identity and trust, learning activity structure, and tutor instruction. The researchers took an action research approach where they collected data through discussions, surveys, and reflections from professional students, mainly teachers, and tutors who were members of an online community enquiry called Ultralab Learning with the intent to improve the learning experience of the online community. Findings revealed that students appreciated tutors who communicated with them through the online community space. When tutors encouraged social interaction and provided feedback, the students were more likely to be engaged. Researchers recognized disconnect between the course objectives and the students’ purpose for taking the course. For example, some students were not concerned about formal assessments, but were more engaged In the online learning experience, and how they will apply the methodology in their own profession. Students expressed dissatisfaction with software design. The researchers noted improvements were made to the interface that resulted in less negative feedback and encouraged engagement. Implications identified the need to develop more self-directed and collaborative learning through online social interaction.                                                                                                            

4. Bulger, M.E., Mayer, R.E., Almeroth, K.C. & Blau, S.D. (2008). Measuring Learner Engagement in Computer-Equipped College Classrooms. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 17(2), 129-143. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from

            The study’s purpose was to measure student engagement using a Classroom Behavioural Analysis System (CBAS) and to test whether an interactive simulation-based lesson using computers would increase engagement. One hundred and thirty nine students enrolled in freshman composition courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara participated in the quasi-experimental quantitative research. Thirty-two students were involved in a no-simulation lesson while 107 students participated in a simulation lesson. Using CBAS, the students’ computer actions were recorded as on-task or off-task. Findings revealed that both groups were as equally active in Internet use, but off-task Internet actions among the students in the no-simulation lesson accounted for 79% of total Internet use, while off-task Internet actions among the students in the simulation-based lesson accounted for 9% of total internet use. Implications identified that student engagement is linked to instructional method, and whether student engagement is linked to academic achievement should be investigated. Additionally, while computers have the potential to be distracting, simulation activities can make computers an effective learning tool and resource while encouraging higher levels of engagement. CBAS is a promising tool for measurement; its potential should be tested in further studies measuring engagement and academic performance.


5. Chen, D.P., Lambert, A,M., & Guidry, K.R. (2010). Engaging online learners: The impact of web-based learning technology on college student engagement. Computers & Education, 54(4), 1222-1232.

            The purpose of this study was to determine if the amount of technology used in a course has a relationship with student engagement, learning approaches and learning outcomes. Seventeen thousand, eight hundred and nineteen students from forty-five universities completed the National Survey of Student Engagement. Forty-five percent of the students were first-year students and fifty-five percent were seniors. Based on the survey results, the researchers classified the delivery method of courses into three categories: Web or Internet-only, face-to-face, and hybrid (Web and face-to-face). Findings revealed that the use of learning technology had the highest impact on student engagement while course delivery had the lowest. Additionally, the results suggested that the use of technology has a stronger impact in the early years of college. Implications identified that the use of technology in beginning college courses could help to encourage engagement in other ways of learning. Students who use the Internet for learning purposes are more likely to engage in higher order thinking and reflective and integrative learning which indicates that Web-based learning approaches have a significant positive impact on student engagement.                                  


6. Cornelius, S., Gordon, C., & Harris, M. (2011). Role engagement and anonymity in synchronous online role play. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(5), 57-73.

            The purpose of the study was to explore the experience of learners who were involved in an online role-play, particularly around the issues of role engagement, anonymity and learning outcomes. In an investigative qualitative approach, fifty-three participants, in ten different groups, had their interaction in the role-play analyzed while sixteen participants took part in semi-structured interviews. The role-play involved lecturers from Scottish Further Education Colleges, and all of them were working off site. Findings revealed that three factors helped with role engagement: role playing familiarity, direct questioning and in-depth exchanges. Additionally, anonymity was a factor that engaged the participants, although some participants did admit they spent time attempting to identify other group members. Implications identified that measures to improve protecting anonymity should be considered, but technical and logistic challenges may prevent improvements. The participants also expressed concerns over the pacing of the role play. Some of them felt it went too fast while others felt it was slow. Such concerns could affect participant engagement in the activity. The results suggested that the role engagement was effective in helping the participants met the learning outcomes. However, further research needs to be completed to explore this issue in more depth.                       


7. Holly, D., & Dobson, C., (2008). Encouraging student engagement in a blended learning environment: the use of      contemporary learning spaces. Learning, Media and Technology, 33(2), 139-150.

            The study's purpose was to investigate the impact on student engagement when a curriculum included a blended multimedia project as a mechanism to promote engagement and collaboration among business and marketing non-traditional students. One thousand students at London Metropolitan University participated in a mixed methods research approach for six weeks. Students completed an online evaluation and informal interviews. Additionally, a researcher made field notes, and the research team collected website server statistics to analyze student online traffic. Findings revealed that the website was visited almost every hour during day and night with peak periods on Saturday afternoons. Students commented that they enjoyed being able to work at their own pace and found the method of work enjoyable. The researcher observed that students used mobile phones to send messages as they discussed a field trip, indicating that technology enhanced the discussion and participation in learning activities. Further, many students exceeded the minimum requirements, and the small group presentations were of much higher quality than those of previous classes. Implications identified that it is possible to successfully engage non-traditional students by providing a blended learning environment that is flexible to when and where they can participate in their learning experience.               


8. Junco, R., Elavsky C. M., & Hieberger, G. (2012). Putting twitter to the test: Assessing outcomes for student collaboration, engagement and success. British Journal of Educational Technology, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01284.x

            The research involved two studies. The purpose of the studies was to determine if guided encouragement of Twitter usage in course design affects the relationship between student engagement and grades. Study one involved one hundred and eighteen students in a first year seminar course where sixty-five students were required to use Twitter and the remaining students used another social networking site, Ning. Study two involved one hundred and thirty five students who had the option to use Twitter. The students completed an online engagement survey. Researchers had permission to access students’ academic records to obtain previous marks and used software to analyze students’ activity on Twitter. Findings revealed that the Twitter group had stronger engagement and a higher overall semester GPA than the Ning group. In study two there was no difference in engagement between students who choose to use Twitter and non-user students. Additionally, study one Twitter users were more focused in their engagement than study two Twitter users. Implications identified that when Twitter is a requirement in a course, and it is implemented in a course design with educators who actively connect with students on the platform, there is an increase in student engagement and marks.                                                            

9. Neumann, D.L., & Hood, M. (2009). The effects of using a wiki on student engagement and learning of report writing skills in a university statistics course. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(3), 382-398.

            The study’s purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of using a Wiki to promote engagement and learning for students writing a practice research report.  Ten tutorial classes, with 15 to 25 students per class, for a first year research methods and statistics course at Griffith University were involved in a mixed methods comparative approach where five classes worked in collaboration using a Wiki, while the other five classes worked individually using Microsoft Word over a six week period. The students completed various questionnaires to gather data on demographics, self-efficacy, anxiety, report writing knowledge, engagement experiences and tutorial feedback. Findings revealed that students in the Wiki group rated engagement with each other higher than the other group. Additionally, the Wiki group’s mark was slightly higher and attendance was better. Implications identified that the impact of Wiki use on engagement may have been limited because of low participation in the Wiki group. Further research is necessary to discover if higher levels of participation enhance learning and engagement. Additionally, the results indicated that active engagement by students is not guaranteed by using collaborative technology.           

10. Reynolds, R. & Caperton, I.H. (2011). Contrasts in student engagement, meaning-making, dislikes, and challenges in a discovery-based program of game design learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 59(2), 267-289.

            The purpose of the study was to determine in what ways did Globaloria, an educational game design program, engage students. One hundred and ninety-nine middle, high, and community college students from schools in West Virginia provided qualitative feedback through a voluntary survey in 2009. The students were mid way through the course with at least three months of participation in Globaloria. Findings revealed that fifty-one percent of the students mentioned that regular use of technology in the program was a main difference from other courses. Evidence of engagement from the feedback included students providing positive comments over the project-based design of the course. Additionally, the survey results suggested there was evidence of engagement as students described how they assigned meaning to the learning experience and pinpointed which elements of the program were most important and valuable, such as coding, programming, teamwork, proposing a project and completing it. Implications identified that Globaloria offered a new type of engagement that promoted student role-taking experiences. Both time management and self-driven learning were two consistent dislikes in the student feedback that indicated improvements should be considered in the program to avoid stifling student engagement and learning.                                                                                 


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