Student and Teacher Perceptions of Online Student Engagement in an Online Middle School
Nathaniel Louwrens, CORE Education ; Maggie Hartnett, Massey University
Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning Volume 19, Number 1, ISSN 1179-7665 e-ISSN 1179-7665 Publisher: Distance Education Association of New Zealand
While our understanding of student engagement in the compulsory schooling sector is well developed in face-to-face contexts, the same cannot be said for online and distance learning environments. Indeed, most of what is currently known about online engagement has come from research with older students in tertiary education contexts. This study directly addresses this gap in the research by exploring student engagement in an online, middle school in a New Zealand distance education context. By considering three key dimensions of student engagement—namely, behavioural engagement, cognitive engagement, and emotional engagement—this in-depth investigation explores what engages middle school students when they learn online. Data collection techniques comprised student and teacher interviews, online asynchronous discussion transcripts, and statistical data from the learning management system (LMS). Results found that students in this study tended to engage behaviourally (i.e., do what was expected of them) with all required activities. Cognitive engagement (i.e., students’ personal investment in their own learning) was evident in the giving and receiving of feedback as well as the interest and relevance certain activities generated for learners. Emotional engagement was elicited through the design and facilitation of the activities, and through the ongoing development of a learning community in which students felt safe to contribute.
Louwrens, N. & Hartnett, M. (2015). Student and Teacher Perceptions of Online Student Engagement in an Online Middle School. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 19(1), 27-44. Distance Education Association of New Zealand.
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Michael Barbour, Sacred Heart University, United States; Niki Davis, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Derek Wenmoth, CORE Education, New Zealand
International Journal on E-Learning Vol. 15, No. 1 (2016) pp. 27–45
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