Student engagement is an essential forerunner of learning. It leads to better achievement while it’s opposite i.e. disengagement results in more dropouts. Student engagement is flourished in a learning environment where there is student autonomy but in a defined level. The engagement of students is also influenced by peers. The concept of student engagement is defined as identification and participation with the school. One way in engaging student is focusing on interpersonal behavior of teachers. For example, proximity contributes to emotional engagement whereas influence contributes to behavioral engagement. Helpful and friendly behavior along with the leadership would be the best way to engage students (Van Uden & Ritzen, 2014)
Student engagement increase the likelihood of school completion. It is characterized by student’s involvement and his participation in schooling process. It develops a sense of belongingness and commitment in students. The high engagement aspects include interest, concentrated attention and enjoyment. The low engagement aspects are apathy and no interest in school guidelines. High engagement in classrooms is significant predictor of continuing motivation and performance in school or college. The students are more likely to engage with authentic academic environment that allows them to solve real life problems. It extends beyond the classrooms. Also students are likely to be more engaged in student-controlled activities rather than teacher-controlled activities. Student engagement is characterized by teacher’s characteristics such as their effective communication, empathy and enthusiasm. Promoting participation among students can lead to reduction of school withdrawal. The engagement can be enhanced if teachers support students’ autonomy and competency. For example, teachers can provide task to student which offer choice, opportunities and connected to their goals. Teacher should provide tasks to students which are slightly difficult to do but not extremely difficult. Students are more engaged in individual and group assignment than listening to lectures (Shernoff & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014).
Engagement is defined as student’s involvement in learning activity. It has four dimensional constructs which includes behavioral, emotional, cognitive and agency aspect. Behavioral engagement describes how involved the student is in learning in terms of attention. Emotional engagement describes presence of positive emotions such as interest and absence of negative emotions such as anxiety. Cognitive engagement describes how strategically student is involved in learning like learning either by connecting or by memorizing. Agency engagement describes the extent of students’ contribution in terms of active participation like asking question, communicating their preferences etc. In order to enhance classroom engagement, it is necessary to generate motivational classroom experience such as new encounters with original or fresh ideas, promoting feedback and avoid pressured evaluations and criticism (Reeve & Lee, 2014)
Student engagement is very opposite of discipline problems, school failure and dropout. It helps in reducing gaps in the schools. Teachers should use effective strategies to involve students culturally and ethnically such as personality development training sessions which help students in connecting with curriculum, build authentic relationships and enhance reflective thinking (Bradshaw et al., 2018).
Students’ learning experience and performances are correlated. The use of flipped model is the new way of engaging students. It leads to moving the lecture outside classroom using technology and moving homework inside the classroom through learning activities. The core idea is to flip the current model i.e. instructions via interactive lessons and teacher’s created videos are assessed at home and not in class while the work that needs to be done outside the class is now completed in classroom in the presence of teacher. It becomes collaborative learning experience. It gives opportunity to students to learn, to think by being actively engaged in content (Clark, 2015).
From the earlier section of the report, it is found there are multiple ways to engage students in classrooms. So following are the most common ways that strengthen students’ engagement: helping and friendly behavior to students, effective communication, empathy, enthusiasm, promoting student participation, real life based studies, autonomy to students, introduce individual and group assignments, new encounters of students with original or fresh ideas, promoting feedback, personality development training session, flipped model .Also avoid pressured evaluations, continuous lectures and criticism. These student engagement ways have multiple strengths and weaknesses which should be evaluated, and finally necessary argument should be built upon it.
More enriching lessons or real life cases, encounter to novelty help students to benefit from conceptualizations. Students are able to concentrate and are provided with intrinsic satisfaction that builds interest for future. Providing autonomy and competency help to cater the needs of changing society. Personality development courses can drastically impact the young people’s capability to involve in different activities such as group discussions, mind mapping etc. (Quaye & Harper, 2014). Students will be equipped with new skills like reflective thinking and thus feel confident to pursue professional and personal goals. These methods remove the pain points of earlier method like criticism which undermines the ability of students. It helps in providing near universal knowledge and culture. Students feel empowered as they are involved in decision making activities through feedback mechanism and student-controlled lectures. Students will be trained in an environment where they are able to effectively communicate with their colleagues is an advantage of flipped model. They will be prepared like real world workplace environment. Teacher’s interpersonal characteristics provide motivation to students, which improve their involvement in classes.
Teachers are reluctant sometimes to new concepts like flipped model. This is because they face the repercussions of such changes (Gilboy & Heinerichs, 2015). It is not necessary that all teachers possess both subject matter expert and interpersonal qualities. It is challenging to foster these new ways.
Students may fear or might not adapt the change. The changes like group assignment might increase the anxiety level among students. It might impact students’ emotional and social well-being. Not only the decisions makers are reluctant but also parents and general opinion becomes obstacle. There can be conflict among stake holders where one sees eliminating exams as an opportunity and other feels duty bound to safeguard the exiting process.
Teacher’s interpersonal behavior might impact temporarily but it may not yield the desired result in the long run when students’ own efforts are counted more. Also these engagement effects might work for some students, but not necessarily for all. It is difficult to understand which aspect of teacher’s engagement is more beneficial.
After analyzing both strengths and weaknesses of different ways, we can find that some of the activities like flipped learning suffer both implementation and cultural challenges in spite of its strengths. The report constitutes some simple approaches like interpersonal skills and characteristics of teachers that can foster student engagement when planned properly. These skills like group assignments, real life case studies, promoting student participation are value addition to knowledge but stakeholders might feel reluctant to implement them. It has been said that evaluations and criticism should be avoided without acknowledging their benefits. So is there anything else to replace these exams. Are students, teachers, parents and authorities have sufficient resources and in consent with each other to welcome the change?
We can see that all student engagement ways which are mentioned have positive side as well as negative. It is difficult to implement these changes but isn’t it like any other change in any other field? Change takes time, but its impact must not be ignored. So, implementing such changes is difficult but worth achieving. By the use of necessary instructional skills, they can become a rewarding and enriching experience that can produce positive outcome for all learners.
These new ways should be seen as opportunity to facilitate learning rather as a threat. They should not be limited to what is expected from teachers and students in the class instead these ways should build their beliefs, attitudes and motivate them (Reeve & Lee, 2014). Each stakeholder should recognize the importance of these processes.
It is necessary to have proper structure in place to make changes in exiting system. It is mandatory to understand the learner driven approach followed by planning and strategic implementation. The learners and teachers should be provided with ample support. It is essential to take into account students’ education histories, their development level, skills and their expectation out of the classroom learning (Foster & Yaoyuneyong, 2016). The school authorities should evaluate learners’ ability before putting any change in place. These methods should be pilot tested and regularly improved. Teachers should be given proper training to implement these ways like programs to understand the importance of interpersonal behavior. Analysis should be done to understand whether it is practical to enforce such changes based on cost and result parameters. Substantial time should be given to evaluate and monitor the ways after implementation. It is important to understand all the ingredients of teacher’s engagement that effect the classroom motivation. The interaction of multiple ways that effect engagement should not be ignored. For example would student feel engaged when they are provided with task of their choice and it is slightly difficult. The youth participation in school’s leisure activities, extracurricular participation can be used as evaluation criteria for student engagement (Xerri, 2016).
Bradshaw, C. P., Pas, E. T., Debnam, K. J., Bottiani, J. H., & Rosenberg, M. (2018). Increasing Student Engagement through Culturally-Responsive Classroom Management. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, 5(6).
Clark, K. R. (2015). The effects of the flipped model of instruction on student engagement and performance in the secondary mathematics classroom. Journal of Educators Online, 12(1), 91-115.
Xerri, D. (2016). Teaching and learning English in a multicultural classroom: strategies and opportunities. Journal for Multicultural Education, 10(1), 19-32.
Foster, J., & Yaoyuneyong, G. (2016). Teaching innovation: equipping students to overcome real-world challenges. Higher Education Pedagogies, 1(1), 42-56.
Gilboy, M. B., Heinerichs, S., & Pazzaglia, G. (2015). Enhancing student engagement using the flipped classroom management. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 47(1), 109-114.
Quaye, S. J., & Harper, S. R. (Eds.). (2014). Student engagement in higher education: Theoretical perspectives and practical approaches for diverse populations. Routledge.
Reeve, J., & Lee, W. (2014). Students’ classroom engagement produces longitudinal changes in classroom motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(2), 527.
Shernoff, D. J., Csikszentmihalyi, M., Schneider, B., & Shernoff, E. S. (2014). Student engagement in high school classrooms from the perspective of flow theory. In Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education (pp. 475-494). Springer Netherlands.
Van Uden, J. M., Ritzen, H., & Pieters, J. M. (2014). Engaging students: The role of teacher beliefs and interpersonal teacher behavior in fostering student engagement in vocational education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 37, 21-32.