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How are you feeling today? Assessing student engagement in Virtual Learning Tasmania


Fricker, J and Thomas, J, How are you feeling today? Assessing student engagement in Virtual Learning Tasmania, 12th International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies, 2-3 May, Hobart, Tasmania (2019) [Conference Extract]

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High student engagement has been consistently correlated with strong school retention and high achievement. Conversely, disengagement has been associated with absences, poor conduct, underachievement and non-completion.

Online Learning has traditionally struggled with both measuring and maintaining, student engagement. This is largely due to the physical separation between the student, their teacher and their peers, making interpersonal relationships challenging. In a physical classroom teachers can judge how a student is feeling about their schooling by interacting with them verbally and by reading non-verbal signals. In the online space, a different feedback mechanism is required.

Virtual Learning Tasmania (VLT) is an innovation of the Tasmanian Department of Education which aims to provide curriculum to senior secondary students who cannot access subjects important to their pathway plan in their local schools. Aware of the challenges facing online engagement, VLT courses have the collection of regular and systematic feedback on student engagement embedded in their design. Analysis of this data enables teachers to understand, and react to, the affective, cognitive and behavioural dimensions of engagement of their students in real time. It also directs qualitative improvements to the online experience students have.

This paper reports on the first three months of VLT, explaining the data collection methods and results, in each of the dimensions. It discusses how student engagement can be understood in the online space, and the impact of both administrators and teachers being able to react to how students are feeling about, thinking about, and acting towards school in the online space.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Engagement, online learning
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Thomas, J (Dr Jeffrey Thomas)
ID Code:132378
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2019-05-06
Last Modified:2019-05-30
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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