About the Project

Learning from students about
diversity in the experience of
engagement with learning

Inclusive education relies on understanding what effective engagement with learning means for each individual. However, we don’t yet have this understanding or even the right research tools to start building it.

This research project at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education is developing a new self-report measure of engagement with learning activities. The new quick, easy, flexible and intuitive research tool will help transform our understanding of students’ experience of their learning activities and help support inclusive teaching and learning in universities, colleges and schools.

Understanding neurodiversity and engagement is at the heart of this project, with a particular focus on autistic students. We are currently seeking participants for Stage 1 – validating the survey items. If you’re an autistic undergraduate or you work closely with autistic undergraduates, please get in touch to find out more or visit our Participant Information (Stage 1) page for more details and a link to the survey.

Latest from the Project Blog

Frameworks for connecting neuroscience to education

‘engagement’, RDoC, and barriers to inclusion Based on a presentation to the Cambridge Neuroscience Journal Club in January 2021 What does neuroscience tell us about the experience of autism? There is a wealth of research and findings from the field of autism neuroscience, indicating differences associated with autism in a wide range of aspects ofContinue reading “Frameworks for connecting neuroscience to education”

Why measure ‘engagement’?

This project aims to explore barriers to inclusion for autistic pupils, so why is it ‘engagement’ that’s being measured? Early work on the project explored barriers to inclusion more broadly (Bailey & Baker, 2020). The emerging priority was to address a lack of literature on positive aspects of educational experience – what makes educational provisionContinue reading “Why measure ‘engagement’?”

What did the pilot study find?

TThe Self-Report Measure of Engagement with Learning Activities (MELA-SR) was initially developed and tested over the summer of 2020. We found that this multi-component low-inference, non-judgmental measure of engagement is feasible for use with online survey methods such as Qualtrics. Our new measure is quick, intuitive and sensitive to context and to individual differences. WhatContinue reading “What did the pilot study find?”