How engaged are your students? Take this quiz and find out

By Andrea Harmer
September 14th, 2015

Student behavior and response can say a lot about their engagement levels

engaged-studentsWe hear and read a lot about engaging students in technology facilitated learning challenges, but when it comes right down to it, how do we define student engagement, and how do we know what it looks and sounds like? More importantly, how do we know how engaged our students really are. Here is a simple definition and example of student engagement along with a short quiz to determine just how “engaged” your students really are in their task at hand.

When student engagement was first discussed with regard to technology integration in Apple Computer’s Classroom of Tomorrow program, one of the primary measures was time on task (Ross, 1989). But as computer and internet time became more prevalent and sophisticated, so did the measures of student engagement. Student engagement was neatly defined by in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory as the “union of concentration, interest, and enjoyment,” and by Shernoff (2013) as “academic intensity with positive emotional response.”

But what does exactly does engagement look like and sound like with regard to student participation and how can it be measured to ensure that it is happening? Lastly, if the student was not engaged with the learning facilitated for them by their teacher, what would be an effective response?

Ask yourself these questions with regard to your student and determine just how engaged he or she really is with the challenge you have facilitated for them.


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Dr. Andrea Harmer is chair of the Instructional Technology & Library Science Department at Kutztown University and part-time director of educational outreach and web-based education in Materials Science & Engineering department and the Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Lehigh University.