ENGAGEMENT

Much has been written about student engagement and its importance in today's higher education model.  Attached is a report from the Kuh team, written for the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.  

 

Prior to twenty years ago, college was semi-Darwinian in that the student was the main determiner of whether they were fit to survive and reach a degree.  With today's focus on retention and persistence, many colleges approach student "survival"with holistic and integrated programs to encourage completion, and yet, students still leave in the first year or don't finish.

Today, college acceptance is more egalitarian.  With that, comes its own concerns.  Turner (1998) is referenced in the Kuh Report proposing that today's students may need more explained to them than in past generations.  Come to class, buy the book, read the book, meet deadlines.  A thorough syllabus allows a professor's to express and discuss these standards with first-generation students.

The Kuh report provides great information to both professors and administrators.  While specific instructional strategies begin on page 66, the coverage of Engagement as bridge between Student Behavior and Institutional Conditions is thematic throughout the report. 

Students bring their own set of behaviors to the classroom.  Other than Early Alert systems, faculty have little to do with Institutional Conditions. This deficit becomes more pronounced when colleges rely on outside adjunct professors in the "gig" economy.  To promote engagement, administrators must provide faculty training and support for engaging technologies.  Faculty must be comfortable with the technology and tools if we expect their use.  Administration can also add institutional-level engagement practices by working with their ITS team. 

Kuh makes the case for "educationally purposeful activities" (p. 35) positively impacting grades and persistence.  Types of classroom activities are listed in the report and available to traditional settings. 

We've separated Engagement into INSTRUCTIONAL ENGAGEMENT and INSTITUTIONAL ENGAGEMENT using the links below.  

For both traditional and online instruction, we've provided links to tools that can create a sense of engagement between the campus, geographically separated students, and their college.

For administrators, we've provided institutional-level suggestions.

REFERENCE:

Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., & Bukley, J.A. (2006).  What matters to student success: A review of the literature.  Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/npec/pdf/Kuh_Team_Report.pdf

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