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Student engagement is defined as '… students' involvement with activities and conditions likely to generate high quality learning …' (ACER 2008 p.vi).
The 'activities' referred to here include;
Some of the 'conditions' referred to in this definition include;
Engaging students is important not only because it enhances the student experience but also because students who are committed to their own learning are inclined to actively participate in lifelong learning opportunities after graduation. (Chalmers, 2007a pp.93-94; DEEWR, 2008). This benefits the individual by enriching their personal lives as they continue to use the tools and skills they have acquired and refined at university.
The institution that is actively involved in student engagement takes a student centred approach in the design, development and delivery of its courses; inspires its staff to involve students at every level possible, and invites student feedback and input to the learning experience and environment. Deakin University recognises the importance of student engagement. Staff across the University are committed to ensuring deep levels of engagement for all Deakin students.
Read more about student engagement in a recent article in The Age Newspaper.
In 2008, Deakin University introduced use of the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE). The AUSSE is a national survey, managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). More information about the AUSSE can be found on the ACER website.
The AUSSE measures student engagement through the administration of the Student Engagement Questionnaire (SEQ) to an institutionally representative student sample. Learn more by downloading the AUSSE Overview (59 KB).
Data collected via the AUSSE allows Deakin to measure student engagement, providing information about of the level of students' use of the educational opportunities available and to what extent they are actively involved in their learning.
This data can guide educational design, development and delivery and provide an important tool for review and improvement in the areas of teaching and learning.
The federal government has recently given in principle support to the Bradley review of higher education recommendation that all universities report on AUSSE findings annually, and has indicated that it is currently considering this recommendation further. Benchmarking opportunities with similar institutions are currently possible and may become more important in the future.
International benchmarking opportunities and data comparisons may also be available through existing links with United States-based National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
The results of the 2008 AUSSE for Deakin participants are now available and continue to be analysed. A summary report (52 KB) was provided to the University's Planning and Resources Committee (PRC) in February 2009.
The full set of questions is available by downloading the SEQ question matrix (100 KB).
The Teaching Quality Indicators Project.
Deakin is involved in the Teaching Quality Indicators (TQI) project and the reward and recognition of quality teachers and teaching that engage(s) students.
The Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) has provided funding for this project, which is coordinated by Professor Denise Chalmers at the University of Western Australia. More information about the national project can be found on the University of Western Australia website.
Three AUSSE scales have been identified as being of particular relevance to our involvement in this project:
The Teaching Quality Indicators team are now embarking on meeting the future plans highlighted in the project's final report some of which are; changes to policies and procedures; the creation of documents and resources that encourage and support quality teaching and student engagement; the development of a website to highlight the project and as a central repository for the above mentioned resources; and to have student engagement a common denominator in university language and discussion.
For further information please download the Deakin TQI Final Report (431 KB).
Deakin University wishes to acknowledge that some support for the production of this website has been provided from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The views expressed in this website and associated materials and links do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
Successful Transition at Deakin University: Introduction to Transition Framework for Commencing Students
The Transition Framework has been developed with the objective of creating a common baseline of experience for all commencing students, from which creative and enhanced delivery can be shared and developed.
The Framework draws on research and good practice in retention and transition and was developed in consultation with staff across Deakin. The Framework was endorsed by the Student Experience Sub-Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee and Academic Board in 2009.
The Framework forms the basis for Faculties and Divisions to develop a 12-month plan to assist the transition of commencing Deakin students. It should be viewed in the context of a holistic approach to course design, skills development and student support.
Australian Council for Educational Research. http://www.acer.edu.au/ausse/reports.html
Australian Learning and Teaching Council. http://www.altc.edu.au/
Carini, R.M., Kuh, G.D. and Klein, S.P. (2006). Student engagement and student learning: Testing the linkages. Research in Higher Education 47(1), 1-32.
Devlin, M. Brockett, J and Baker, L. Teaching Quality Indicators Pilot Project Final Report, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia.