Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice.

Tim McLernon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    The impetus for this study was instigated by recent comments from some employers of graduates in the built environment discipline during a discussion on the necessity for education for sustainable development for participation in a global economy. The comments inferred that graduates “cannot do anything and we have to train them”. Further investigations suggested that a reason for this asserted lack of practical competence may be linked to inadequate student engagement during the three years at university. The thesis behind this study was derived from these further investigations: it is that students do not engage sufficiently with their studies to enable them, on graduation, to ‘hit the ground running’. Student engagement is a term that may be interpreted in several different ways and may project different meanings. Trowler and Trowler (2010) conducted a student engagement literature review that presented a “matrix of areas covered by the term ‘student engagement’”. They also identified “3 axes along which student engagement literature can be located, viz. individual student learning, structure and process, and identity”. ‘Engagement’ for the purposes of this study followed the axis of individual student learning. In addition, ‘engagement’ was qualified and separated according to the dimensions proposed by Trowler (2010), drawing on the work of others and identified as: behavioural engagement, affective engagement and cognitive engagement. The purpose of the study was to derive and analyse the factors that contribute to justification for this thesis with a view to the ultimate construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement. Data for the study were collected from records, by observant participation with students, supported by individual conversations and focus group sessions with a sample of students from the built environment disciplines. These data were analysed in conjunction with data obtained from six tutors on built environment programmes and a framework of findings was built. The conclusions demonstrate that engagement could be improved along the axis of individual student learning and according to the three dimensions of engagement. Whether improvement of such engagement would lead to improved practical competencies upon graduation was not empirically included in the study but such conjecture should lead to healthy discussion at the conference. Discussion of this paper at the conference will inform the construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement.
    LanguageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    Place of PublicationNewtownabbey, N Ireland.
    Pages1-8
    Number of pages8
    Volume192
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2011
    Event17th International Conference on Engineering Education; Engineering Sustainability for a Global Economy. - Waterfront Hall, Belfast, N. Ireland.
    Duration: 21 Aug 2011 → …

    Conference

    Conference17th International Conference on Engineering Education; Engineering Sustainability for a Global Economy.
    Period21/08/11 → …

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    learning
    student
    graduate
    participation
    tutor
    employer
    sustainable development
    conversation
    economy
    university
    lack
    education
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    Cite this

    McLernon, T. (2011). Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice. In Unknown Host Publication (Vol. 192, pp. 1-8). Newtownabbey, N Ireland..
    McLernon, Tim. / Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice. Unknown Host Publication. Vol. 192 Newtownabbey, N Ireland., 2011. pp. 1-8
    @inproceedings{bdbe7901cf9b4d09a8af9390960ede05,
    title = "Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice.",
    abstract = "The impetus for this study was instigated by recent comments from some employers of graduates in the built environment discipline during a discussion on the necessity for education for sustainable development for participation in a global economy. The comments inferred that graduates “cannot do anything and we have to train them”. Further investigations suggested that a reason for this asserted lack of practical competence may be linked to inadequate student engagement during the three years at university. The thesis behind this study was derived from these further investigations: it is that students do not engage sufficiently with their studies to enable them, on graduation, to ‘hit the ground running’. Student engagement is a term that may be interpreted in several different ways and may project different meanings. Trowler and Trowler (2010) conducted a student engagement literature review that presented a “matrix of areas covered by the term ‘student engagement’”. They also identified “3 axes along which student engagement literature can be located, viz. individual student learning, structure and process, and identity”. ‘Engagement’ for the purposes of this study followed the axis of individual student learning. In addition, ‘engagement’ was qualified and separated according to the dimensions proposed by Trowler (2010), drawing on the work of others and identified as: behavioural engagement, affective engagement and cognitive engagement. The purpose of the study was to derive and analyse the factors that contribute to justification for this thesis with a view to the ultimate construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement. Data for the study were collected from records, by observant participation with students, supported by individual conversations and focus group sessions with a sample of students from the built environment disciplines. These data were analysed in conjunction with data obtained from six tutors on built environment programmes and a framework of findings was built. The conclusions demonstrate that engagement could be improved along the axis of individual student learning and according to the three dimensions of engagement. Whether improvement of such engagement would lead to improved practical competencies upon graduation was not empirically included in the study but such conjecture should lead to healthy discussion at the conference. Discussion of this paper at the conference will inform the construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement.",
    author = "Tim McLernon",
    note = "Reference text: 1. AUSSE (2009) Engaging Students for Success, Australasian Student Engagement Report, Australian Survey of Student Engagement, Australian Council for Educational Research, Victoria, Australia. 2. Baty, P. (2011) Wise up to the modern world, Times Higher Education, 28th April, 2011, p5, London, TSL Education Ltd. 3. Hu, S. and Kuh, G.D. (2001) Being (Dis)engaged in Educationally Purposive Activities: The Influences of Student and Institutional Characteristics. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference. Seattle, WA, 10-14 April. 4. Kuh, G.D. (2009) The National Survey of Student Engagement: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations, New Directions for Institutional Research, vol. 2009, no. 141 (March 9, 2009), pp. 5–20. 5. Marton, F. and Saljo (1976) {"}On Qualitative Differences in Learning — 1: Outcome and Process{"} Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 46, 4-11 6. Marton, F. and Saljo (1976) {"}On Qualitative Differences in Learning — 2: Outcome as a function of the learner's conception of the task{"} Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 46, 115-27 7. McLernon, T. (2010) Integrative Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, abstract and presentation made by poster, presented at the NAIRTL / LIN (National Academy for Integration of Research, Learning and Teaching / Learning Innovation Network) Conference, October 6-7, 2010, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. 8. McLernon, T. (2006) Socialisation and Contextualisation: Methods for Advancing the Teaching and Learning Experience in Higher Education, Paper presented at International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece, 18 to 21 July 2006; published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece, 18 to 21 July 2006. 9. Schon, D.A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action. London: Temple Smith. 10. Trowler, V. and Trowler, P. (2010) Student Engagement Evidence Summary, Higher Education Academy, York. 11. Trowler, V. (2010), Student Engagement Literature Review, HEA, York.",
    year = "2011",
    month = "8",
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    volume = "192",
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    McLernon, T 2011, Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice. in Unknown Host Publication. vol. 192, Newtownabbey, N Ireland., pp. 1-8, 17th International Conference on Engineering Education; Engineering Sustainability for a Global Economy., 21/08/11.

    Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice. / McLernon, Tim.

    Unknown Host Publication. Vol. 192 Newtownabbey, N Ireland., 2011. p. 1-8.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    N1 - Reference text: 1. AUSSE (2009) Engaging Students for Success, Australasian Student Engagement Report, Australian Survey of Student Engagement, Australian Council for Educational Research, Victoria, Australia. 2. Baty, P. (2011) Wise up to the modern world, Times Higher Education, 28th April, 2011, p5, London, TSL Education Ltd. 3. Hu, S. and Kuh, G.D. (2001) Being (Dis)engaged in Educationally Purposive Activities: The Influences of Student and Institutional Characteristics. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference. Seattle, WA, 10-14 April. 4. Kuh, G.D. (2009) The National Survey of Student Engagement: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations, New Directions for Institutional Research, vol. 2009, no. 141 (March 9, 2009), pp. 5–20. 5. Marton, F. and Saljo (1976) "On Qualitative Differences in Learning — 1: Outcome and Process" Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 46, 4-11 6. Marton, F. and Saljo (1976) "On Qualitative Differences in Learning — 2: Outcome as a function of the learner's conception of the task" Brit. J. Educ. Psych. 46, 115-27 7. McLernon, T. (2010) Integrative Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, abstract and presentation made by poster, presented at the NAIRTL / LIN (National Academy for Integration of Research, Learning and Teaching / Learning Innovation Network) Conference, October 6-7, 2010, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. 8. McLernon, T. (2006) Socialisation and Contextualisation: Methods for Advancing the Teaching and Learning Experience in Higher Education, Paper presented at International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece, 18 to 21 July 2006; published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece, 18 to 21 July 2006. 9. Schon, D.A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action. London: Temple Smith. 10. Trowler, V. and Trowler, P. (2010) Student Engagement Evidence Summary, Higher Education Academy, York. 11. Trowler, V. (2010), Student Engagement Literature Review, HEA, York.

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    N2 - The impetus for this study was instigated by recent comments from some employers of graduates in the built environment discipline during a discussion on the necessity for education for sustainable development for participation in a global economy. The comments inferred that graduates “cannot do anything and we have to train them”. Further investigations suggested that a reason for this asserted lack of practical competence may be linked to inadequate student engagement during the three years at university. The thesis behind this study was derived from these further investigations: it is that students do not engage sufficiently with their studies to enable them, on graduation, to ‘hit the ground running’. Student engagement is a term that may be interpreted in several different ways and may project different meanings. Trowler and Trowler (2010) conducted a student engagement literature review that presented a “matrix of areas covered by the term ‘student engagement’”. They also identified “3 axes along which student engagement literature can be located, viz. individual student learning, structure and process, and identity”. ‘Engagement’ for the purposes of this study followed the axis of individual student learning. In addition, ‘engagement’ was qualified and separated according to the dimensions proposed by Trowler (2010), drawing on the work of others and identified as: behavioural engagement, affective engagement and cognitive engagement. The purpose of the study was to derive and analyse the factors that contribute to justification for this thesis with a view to the ultimate construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement. Data for the study were collected from records, by observant participation with students, supported by individual conversations and focus group sessions with a sample of students from the built environment disciplines. These data were analysed in conjunction with data obtained from six tutors on built environment programmes and a framework of findings was built. The conclusions demonstrate that engagement could be improved along the axis of individual student learning and according to the three dimensions of engagement. Whether improvement of such engagement would lead to improved practical competencies upon graduation was not empirically included in the study but such conjecture should lead to healthy discussion at the conference. Discussion of this paper at the conference will inform the construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement.

    AB - The impetus for this study was instigated by recent comments from some employers of graduates in the built environment discipline during a discussion on the necessity for education for sustainable development for participation in a global economy. The comments inferred that graduates “cannot do anything and we have to train them”. Further investigations suggested that a reason for this asserted lack of practical competence may be linked to inadequate student engagement during the three years at university. The thesis behind this study was derived from these further investigations: it is that students do not engage sufficiently with their studies to enable them, on graduation, to ‘hit the ground running’. Student engagement is a term that may be interpreted in several different ways and may project different meanings. Trowler and Trowler (2010) conducted a student engagement literature review that presented a “matrix of areas covered by the term ‘student engagement’”. They also identified “3 axes along which student engagement literature can be located, viz. individual student learning, structure and process, and identity”. ‘Engagement’ for the purposes of this study followed the axis of individual student learning. In addition, ‘engagement’ was qualified and separated according to the dimensions proposed by Trowler (2010), drawing on the work of others and identified as: behavioural engagement, affective engagement and cognitive engagement. The purpose of the study was to derive and analyse the factors that contribute to justification for this thesis with a view to the ultimate construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement. Data for the study were collected from records, by observant participation with students, supported by individual conversations and focus group sessions with a sample of students from the built environment disciplines. These data were analysed in conjunction with data obtained from six tutors on built environment programmes and a framework of findings was built. The conclusions demonstrate that engagement could be improved along the axis of individual student learning and according to the three dimensions of engagement. Whether improvement of such engagement would lead to improved practical competencies upon graduation was not empirically included in the study but such conjecture should lead to healthy discussion at the conference. Discussion of this paper at the conference will inform the construction of a reflective tool with which students may self-assess their own engagement.

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    McLernon T. Learning for Doing: Student Engagement as a Necessity for Practice. In Unknown Host Publication. Vol. 192. Newtownabbey, N Ireland. 2011. p. 1-8