Learner Engagement Dimensions

The first step in developing a meaningful Learner eXperience is to ensure that the learner is positively engaged throughout the whole process.

Over the last couple of years, there has been an intensive focus on Learner Engagement as a key to addressing several educational concerns such as low achievement and classroom boredom as well as boosting and enhancing the learning outcomes.

The wide range of research on Learner Engagement suggests many variations of the concept; however, it is generally considered as a multidimensional construct intended to encompass salient academic as well as certain non-academic aspects of the student experience.

Learner Engagement generally refers to a learner’s willingness, need, desire and compulsion to participate and be successful in the learning process. It is best understood as a relationship between the learner and all the other aspects of the learning process.

The Three dimensions of engagement:

Some scholars have outlined a two-dimensional model of engagement, while others divided it into four dimensions. Finally, a three-component model of engagement has been proposed and highly regarded within both the educational and the training and development community. The model defines 3 dimensions of learner engagement:

  • Behavioral:

    Behavioral engagement draws on the idea of participation and includes involvement in academic, social, or extracurricular activities. Learners who are behaviorally engaged would typically comply with behavioral norms, such as attendance and involvement, and would demonstrate the absence of disruptive or negative behavior.

  • Emotional

    Emotional Engagement focuses on the extent of positive or negative reactions to the aspects of the learning process. Learners who engage emotionally would experience affective reactions, such as interest, enjoyment, a sense of belonging and valuing, or an appreciation of success. Positive emotional engagement is presumed to create student ties to the institution and influence their willingness to do the work.

  • Cognitive

    Cognitive engagement is measured by the learner’s investment in learning. It includes being thoughtful, strategic, and willing to exert the necessary effort for comprehension of complex ideas or mastery of difficult skills. Cognitively engaged learners would be invested in their learning, would seek to go beyond the requirements, and would relish challenge.

Engagement Importance

The engagement of learners in the learning experience supports Deep and Transformative Learning, encourages the active participation of learners to take more responsibility, and thus enhancing the learning experience. Engagement is more than involvement or participation — it involves feelings, emotions and sense making as well as activity. Acting without feeling engaged is just involvement or even compliance; feeling engaged without acting is dissociation Active participation of learners is the main channel through which we can get feedback, and it certainly helps to develop and improve all aspects of the learning event. Consequently, it’s important the learner is involved in all parts of the learning event to directly affect the learner experience.

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