Sunday, August 16, 2009

Engagement theory

For engaged learning to occur in a positive and productive manner all of the below have to take place, this also gives a sense of ownership to the students and by relating the project to a real life model helps the students to identify the usefulness of the work allocated. This helps to stem boredom but also gives the students valuable skills to use in future areas.

By engaged learning, we mean that all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as:

  • creating
  • problem-solving
  • reasoning
  • decision-making
  • evaluation

They must:

  1. occur in a group context (i.e., collaborative teams)
  2. are project-based
  3. have an outside (authentic) focus
One area of use within the school environment could be to give the students a task where they have to form groups and work towards delivering a menu of three courses to parents/carers and teachers. Within this task they have to show collaborative work via verbal and written (group meetings and emails or MSN). The menu has to be researched using the internet and a survey has to be made up for the clients attending this restaurant for food allergies and food requirements. Initially the class would work as one brainstorming ideas and doing the general research and survey work. Then they would splinter into their groups for the other criteria. On the morning of the restaurant students would have to allocate team members to do the different preparation for the night; eg: front of house duties or kitchen duties. On the night of the restaurant they would take it in turns to work front of house or behind the scenes in the kitchen. At the end of the meal surveys are given to the patrons to give valuable feedback to the students.

In all of my learning so far I have had great success in this model of learning and feel it has by far the most potential to achieve success with the students but also from a teachers perspective would find it useful in assessing the student in a number of areas at the same time. Making the task future oriented ensures the students are focused on what they are doing, gives them a sense of realness and pride in what they are doing.


Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement theory: A framework for
technology-based teaching and learning.
Retrieved August 22, 2009, from

1 comment:

  1. Loretta, I really like your Engagement Theory activity. I can see students getting really engaged in this activity, and the parents enjoying being a part of their child's learning. I think the Engagement Theory plays on a student's pride more than anything, and most people seek their parent's support and respect more than anything - a great way to movitate the students to work hard and attain amazing results.