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Slide 1

  • Introductory text - slide 1 of 2 (no voice over)
  • Technology-Mediated Student Engagement
  • A presentation by Allan Carter
  • In partial fulfillment for course 6610, Research in Computers in the Curriculum

Slide 2

  • Introductory text - slide 2 of 2 (no voice over)
  • The following is a slide cast of an analytical review on the literature on Technology-Mediated Student Engagement

Slide 3

  • Technology-mediated student engagement refers to learners cognitively and affectively connected with the learning experience (Lowe, Lee, Schibeci, Cummings, Phillips & Lake, 2010). 
  • Technology is becoming more widely available and technology-mediated learning environments are now integrated into mainstream education (Lowe et al., 2010), but the successful engagement of learners with technology is dependent on several factors (Bradshaw, Powell & Terrell, 2005).

Slide 4

  • Methods

Slide 5

  • The analysis included 10 sources from peer-reviewed educational technology journals. The 10 sources included an electronic medium. 
  • The analysis only considered sources with the word engagement as part of the title. The journal sources had to include research participants involved in technology-mediated environments.
  • The studies were from 2005 to 2012 and excluded meta-analysis and book reviews

Slide 6

  • The studies included participants from The United States of America, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.
  • Participants were university undergraduate students (Badge et al., 2012; Mason, 2011; Holley & Dobson, 2008; Chen, Lambert & Guidry, 2010; Bulger, Mayer, Almeroth & Sheridan, 2008), middle, high and college school students (Annetta, Minogue, Holmes & Cheng, 2009; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011), professional students (Cornelius, Gordon & Harris, 2011; Bradshaw et al., 2005), and primary and secondary students (Lowe et al., 2010).

Slide 7

  • The studies used qualitative data (Bradshaw et al., 2005; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011; Cornelius et al., 2011), quantitative data (Annetta et al., 2009; Bulger et al., 2008; Chen et al., 2010) or applied a mixed methods approach (Badge, Saunders & Cann, 2012; Lowe et al., 2010; Holley & Dobson, 2008; Mason, 2011).
  • The studies observed engagement in different learning environments such: an e-Forum setting (Mason, 2011); a social network (Badge et al., 2012); online courses (Bulger, Mayer, Almeroth & Sheridan, 2008; Cornelius, Gordon & Harris, 2011; Bradshaw et al., 2005; Chen et al., 2010; Holley & Dobson, 2008); video games or game design (Reynolds & Caperton, 2011; Annetta, Minogue, Holmes & Cheng, 2009; and online digital learning objects (Lowe et al., 2010).
  • Measurement tools that were used included Protocol for Classroom Observations (Annetta et al., 2009), Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (Mason, 2011), and National Survey of Student Engagement (Chen et al., 2010). One study developed a Classroom Behavioural Analysis System (Bulger et al., 2008) and another study used the open-source Gephi tool. (Badge et al., 2012).

Slide 8

  • Findings: Themes

Slide 9

  • Four themes related to technology-mediated student engagement were identified. They are 1) the design of learning; 2) time; 3) online interaction; and 4) relevant and meaningful learning.

Slide 10

  • The design of learning proved to foster engagement when the design included choices and challenges that related to students’ prior knowledge (Lowe et al., 2010), anonymity in role-play (Cornelius et al., 2011), online socialization and information exchanges (Mason, 2011; Bradshaw et al., 2005), adequate time for induction (Bradshaw et al., 2005), and immersive learning activities and simulation environments (Bulger et al., 2008). 
  • The design of learning proved to disengage learners when the design included excessive cognitive challenges and a complex distracting design (Annetta et al., 2009; Lowe et al. (2010); Reynolds & Caperton, 2011).  Technical difficulties, inadequate support, unclear course objectives, unfamiliar concepts and words, and no-simulation environments were other design factors that disengaged students (Bulger et al., 2008; Cornelius et al., 2011; Lowe et al., 2010; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011).

Slide 11

  • Time negatively affected student engagement when the pace was too fast (Cornelius et al., 2011); time constraints such as deadlines were present (Bradshaw et al., 2005) and class periods were not long enough (Reynolds & Caperton, 2011).
  • Results showed student were frustrated with time management and lack of time (Bradshaw et al., 2005; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011).
  • Time positively affected student engagement when the online technology was flexible and students could contribute at their convenience (Bradshaw et al., 2005; Holley & Dobson, 2008).
  • Results showed that students engaged in their learning hourly and daily, outside of classroom time, and after the formal course completion (Badge et al., 2012; Holley & Dobson, 2008).

Slide 12

  • Online interaction was described as the “social glue” that encouraged student engagement (Badge et al., 2012, para. 23) and produced active learning (Lowe et al., 2010).
  • It prevented students from working in isolation (Badge et al., 2012) and provided students with the opportunity for collaboration (Chen et al., 2010).
  • This included instructors providing support, encouragement and feedback (Badge et. al., 2012; Chen et al., 2010, Lowe et al., 2010; Mason, 2011).

Slide 13

  • Relevant and meaningful learning increased engagement because it was active learning that encouraged students to seek information from beyond the classroom walls allowing students to make learning connections (Bulger et al., 2008).
  • Students expressed excitement over a learning task that was directly relevant to their study, engaging students in “a more meaningful dialogue” (Holley & Dobson, 2008, pg. 14).
  • One study reported that relevant and meaningful learning which engaged students was more likely to promote higher order thinking, and integrative and reflective learning (Chen et al., 2010).
  • Additionally, cognitive engagement was likely to be promoted when students are given the opportunity to apply subject specific knowledge to authentic scenarios (Annetta et al., 2009).
  • Engagement in relevant and meaningful learning allowed students to make higher gains in social and personal development and practical competence (Chen et. al., 2010).

Slide 14

  • Discussion

Slide 15

  • The explored themes are essentially factors that can improve or hinder student engagement with evidence showing that the learning environment must be consistently manageable to foster engagement (Lowe at al., 2010 and Mason, 2011)
  • Student engagement, instructional method, and design were intrinsically linked (Bulger et al., 2008).
  • Three of the studies discussed problems with time management where students felt overwhelmed and frustrated with time constraints. (Bulger et al., 2008; Cornelius et al., 2011; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011).

Slide 16

  • The necessary steps that were required in the learning environment design to facilitate student engagement were discussed (Cornelius et al., 2011; Mason, 2011; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011).
  • Some studies reported a strong relation between human interaction and student engagement (Badge et al., 2012; Chen et al., 2010; Mason, 2011).
  • Three of the studies reported that student engagement was promoted through relevant, meaningful and authentic learning experiences (Annetta et al., 2009; Bulger et al., Holley and Dobson, 2008).

Slide 17

  • Conclusion

Slide 18

  • Encouraging and fostering student engagement required careful attention to instructional design and delivery (Lowe et al., 2010; Annetta et al., 2009; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011), eliminating technical difficulties and possible design flaws (Cornelius et al., 2011), opportunities for human interaction (Badge et al., 2012; Chen et al., 2010), available support and feedback (Mason, 2011); cognitive challenges (Lowe et al., 2010; Annetta et al., 2009; Reynolds & Caperton, 2011) and time flexibility (Holley & Dobson, 2008; Badge et al., 2012).

Slide 19

  • Implications

Slide 20

  • Implications included the need for educators to be frequently active in their online presence providing feedback and support (Bradshaw et al., 2005; Mason, 2011).
  • Professional development and support is necessary for educators designing technology-mediated learning environments (Annetta et al., 2009).
  • Further research is necessary to explore the relationship between measured engagement levels and academic performance (Bulger et al., 2008; Chen et al., 2010; Badge et al., 2012).
  •  “Cautious optimism” when investigating student engagement in technology-mediated learning environments is required (Annetta et al., 2009).

Slide 21

  • Limitations

Slide 22

  • The analysis included studies with both asynchronous and synchronous environments affecting the results in time concerns and constraints (Holly & Dobson, 2008; Badge et al., 2012).
  • This analysis included studies not just from complete online learning experiences (Mason, 2011; Bradshaw et al., 2005; Bulger et al., 2008), but also blended environments and traditional classroom settings (Holley & Dobson, 2008; Annetta et al., 2009).
  • Finally, the analysis included a wide range of participants from primary to adult learners affecting the results in learning relevance (Bradshaw et al., 2005).

Slides 23 and 24

  • References


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. 


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


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.


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


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.


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.


Holley, 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.


Lowe, K., Lee, L., Schibeci, R., Cummings, R., Phillips, R., & Lake, D. (2010). Learning objects and engagement of students in Australian and New Zealand Schools. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 227-241. 


Mason, R.B. (2011). Student engagement with, and participation in, an e-forum. Journal of Educational Technology and Society, 14(2), 258-268.

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.


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