A model of student engagement : identifying engagement triggers in Dutch higher vocational education

Godor, Brian Patrick (2012). A model of student engagement : identifying engagement triggers in Dutch higher vocational education. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000bfdc


Increasing student engagement remains a challenge for educators: although there is large volume of research studies and published articles, the choice of successful pedagogical interventions with the aim of increasing student engagement remains difficult. The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of student engagement and the factors that activate and prompt students to put effort into their studies. An online Student Satisfaction Survey was administered in which 4,992 or 24.4% of the total student population at Avans University of Applied Sciences returned useable responses. These led to the identification of engagement types and specific engagement triggers. Significantly different engagement types , and engagement triggers were found among full-time and part-time students, first-year and upper-level students, as well as students from differing faculties. These findings hold a number of implications. Administrators need to take into account student engagement as one of the possible strategic focal points in the palette of university initiatives in attempting to increase student retention. Durkheim' s work on suicide and Bourdieu' s theory of social capital are explored to broaden the understanding student retention: Durkheim's four types of suicide as possible analogues and Bourdieu's theory of social capital as a possible variable for students' academic success. Therefore, university policies surrounding student engagement should not focus solely on the student's behaviour, but also on the interaction between students and the university. Furthermore, educational policies regarding the pedagogical climate within the university need to support student engagement.

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