Title: A systemic approach to leveraging student engagement in collaborative learning to improve online engineering education

Authors: Robin G. Qiu

Addresses: Division of Engineering and Information Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19426, USA

Abstract: Online higher education is transformative and quite different from residential college education. Lacking effective and consistent pedagogical engagement has been criticised for a high drop-out rate in the online education in general. This study aims to find a solution to facilitate learning engagement in an online engineering education setting. By relying on the known knowledge in the pedagogies of engagement in college education, this paper proposes a systemic framework for promoting positive online students' learning engagement. Different from empirical studies of conducting hypothesis tests, we show a practical and model-driven approach to assessing and enhancing problem-based collaborative teaching/learning practices. The proposed framework is explored through both a pilot test and a confirming test. Rules of thumb are identified and generalised, which could be used to help students/instructors retune their collaborative practices in a proactive manner for retaining positive and effective learning engagement in an online engineering education setting.

Keywords: online engineering education; collaborative learning; pedagogy of engagement; professional education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2019.096734

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2019 Vol.11 No.1, pp.1 - 19

Received: 14 Sep 2017
Accepted: 25 Nov 2017

Published online: 10 Dec 2018 *

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