Title: Student engagement in a technology-mediated distance learning course

Authors: Kam Cheong Li; H.K. Lam

Addresses: University Research Centre, The Open University of Hong Kong, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China ' University Research Centre, The Open University of Hong Kong, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China

Abstract: Student engagement plays a central role in educational effectiveness and strong empirical support relates it to learning achievements. This paper reports an exploratory study on three types of engagement: behavioural, cognitive and emotional. A case-study approach was adopted to examine how six students engaged in the course with an online learning platform. Data concerning the three types of engagement were collected through weekly individual interviews over a semester. Results suggest that tutorial schedules and assignment deadlines were main positive factors of behavioural engagement, and study load of other courses and work commitment were negative factors. In addition, age emerged not only as a key factor influencing the level of behavioural engagement, but also for cognitive engagement. Older students were found evidently more cognitively engaged, which was reflected in how they studied the course. Peer group relationship and teacher support were uncovered as factors facilitating emotional engagement.

Keywords: student engagement; distance learning; interactive learning technology; online learning platforms; learning behaviour; e-learning; electronic learning; behavioural engagement; cognitive engagement; emotional engagement; tutorial schedules; assignment deadlines; study load; work commitment; age; peer group relationships; teacher support.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSS.2015.072445

International Journal of Services and Standards, 2015 Vol.10 No.4, pp.172 - 191

Received: 04 Mar 2015
Accepted: 24 Mar 2015

Published online: 13 Oct 2015 *

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