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27 - Addressing the Challenge of Measuring Student Engagement

from Part VI - Methods, Measures, and Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2019

K. Ann Renninger
Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania
Suzanne E. Hidi
University of Toronto
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Student engagement is a relatively new construct that describes concepts as varied as classroom behaviors, emotional reactions, motivational beliefs, self-regulatory processes, metacognitive strategies, school belonging and interactions with instructional materials. This chapter reviews a variety of methods to measure student engagement including self-report surveys, teacher ratings, interviews, administrative data, observations, experience sampling methods, and real-time measures. The authors outline the strengths and limitations of each method. Next, we present two examples from our own research on approaches to measuring engagement. The goal of these cases is to illustrate how we have addressed some of the challenges with measurement, as well as showing the importance of choosing a measurement technique that aligns with the research questions. First, we describe the results of a qualitative study to develop a new subject-specific measure of engagement. Next, information on the predictive validity of an observational measure to assess engagement at the class-level is presented. The chapter concludes with a discussion of measurement limitations, future directions, and implications for policy and practice.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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