To engage or not to engage? That is the question. Students' Perceptions of Engagement at a West Midlands University
As part of the REACT research team, students from Newman University embarked on a two-year research project which set out to explore and compare how the concept of student engagement was perceived by students who were involved in a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The rationale for undertaking the study was with a view to developing a shared understanding of student engagement across the institution, making student engagement more visible across the institution and ensuring that strategies implemented to encourage student engagement were fit for purpose, particularly for the ‘non-traditional’ student at Newman. Questionnaires were designed by students and staff to facilitate both quantitative and qualitative responses around the comparing and contrasting definitions of engagement from students. Student perspectives considered engagement usually at an academic level, with little knowledge and understanding of the wider opportunities for engagement. Data collected also identified that working with others was a key aspect of student engagement, but barriers were identified as to why students did not perceive social engagement as important.
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