Why do we need so many words to measure engagement?

Image of a glass rainbow with the colours reflected

If you were one of the students who took part in the online survey, you may have wondered why we needed so many words to describe your engagement with learning activities!

Why so many words?

The answer lies in seeing the subtle differences that are often hidden within a broad concept such as ‘engagement’. The general engagement rating is really useful in comparing between different types of learning activity (such as pre-recorded lectures and in-person small group teaching), but we’re interested in going further.

Seeing detail in the colours

The 18 words that make up our engagement measure are based on existing multi-component models of engagement and our validitation work with autistic students. They include a range of positively and negatively framed subconstructs that cover the aspects of behavioural, emotional, cognitive and social engagement that emerged as most important for autistic students.

A rainbow of experience

Our new style engagement measure allows students to select the subconstructs that reflect their experience. This means that no two students report their learning experience in the same way. We can look for trends in the survey results, but the differences between students are just as important.

Engagement subconstructs in the online survey add depth and detail to measurement of students’ experience of engagement.

We’ll continue to work with neurodiverse students to find out more about your experiences of remote and in-person learning. Keep an eye on the blog for more updates …

Many thanks to all our participants!  The online survey will stay open throughout the academic year.


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