a group of engaged students
a group of engaged students” flickr photo by NomadWarMachine shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license (made by AI)

During a twitter conversation, I turned to AI and asked what is ‘student engagement’? Here’s the reply.

Student engagement refers to the level of interest, enthusiasm, and involvement that students have in their learning experiences. Engaged students are actively involved in their own learning, motivated to learn, and willing to take on challenges. They are more likely to participate in class discussions, ask questions, and seek out opportunities to learn more.

Student engagement is often seen as a key factor in academic success, as engaged students are more likely to achieve higher grades, attend school more regularly, and ultimately, be better prepared for their future careers. Engaged students are also more likely to develop a love of learning that can carry them through their lives.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t leave me any more enlightened. I think, probably (today anyway) that there has to be some alignment between the engagement and the activity that they are engaging in. What’s missing, I wonder?

What about a learner who is trying to engage, but for some reason he can’t? Is trying to engage a type of engagement? What if he engages in something that the educator did not mean him to? Can we say that he is not engaging correctly? What if a student keeps trying to engage but the educator is just a bit rubbish, and there is nothing to engage with. Do we tell him to keep on trying in the hope that the teacher will change?

What about an educator who tries to engage her students, but whatever she does, they will not engage. Is she an engaging educator with the wrong audience, or is it her fault that her students are not switching on?

Do we need to use ‘engagement’ at all, or is it one of those words that seems like a meaningful concept until you look closely at it? Should was just ask what a learner should be engaging in/with and then use that instead?

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