Proposal Title

Measuring Student Engagement During Inquiry-Based Learning

Track

Research Proposal / Learning Theories and Pedagogy

Proposal Abstract

The presenter will discuss the results of research conducted to determine and classify students’ motivations and hesitations in engagement during inquiry-based learning classroom activities. Qualitative data from class writing assignments, an online survey, and qualitative interviews were used to identify the reasons students actively collaborated with classmates during an activity or why they choose to independently complete the activity. For each of the identified reasons students hesitate to actively engage with classmates during an activity, the presenter will discuss potential methods that can be used to encourage students to overcome their hesitations.

Proposal Description

During the past two years, I required students to work collaboratively in class during inquiry-based learning (IBL) activities. The students are not always actively engaged during the activities. Validated observation protocols have been developed for identifying student engagement in the classroom (see Hunt, et.al., 2016; Smith, et.al., 2013) which served as a basis for this research.

This research identifies the reasons students provide for their level of engagement. This research is currently in progress and is being conducted as part of my responsibilities as a 2016-17 Georgia State University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning SoTL Fellow. The research questions are

  1. What motivates students to engage in inquiry-based learning in mathematics?
  2. What causes students to hesitate to engage in inquiry-based learning in mathematics?

There are at least three different dimensions in which a student can be engaged in the IBL classroom:

  1. engaged with classmate(s), i.e., collaboration;
  2. engaged with the activity;
  3. engaged with the mathematics underlying the activity.

Qualitative data through writing across the curriculum assignments, anonymous online surveys, and qualitative interviews are used to describe students' motivations and hesitations in engaging on each of the dimensions. By identifying the reasons students hesitate to engage on one or more of the dimensions of engagement, the class activity or the class structure can be adjusted to encourage students to overcome their hesitations. The development of a survey instrument to identify students’ motivations and hesitations in engagement will be discussed.

Although the research was completed in mathematics classes, the results are transferrable to other disciplines. Case studies will be used to guide the discussion of the results and to compare with the above observations protocols for student engagement.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Location

Room 1

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 31st, 10:00 AM Mar 31st, 10:45 AM

Measuring Student Engagement During Inquiry-Based Learning

Room 1

The presenter will discuss the results of research conducted to determine and classify students’ motivations and hesitations in engagement during inquiry-based learning classroom activities. Qualitative data from class writing assignments, an online survey, and qualitative interviews were used to identify the reasons students actively collaborated with classmates during an activity or why they choose to independently complete the activity. For each of the identified reasons students hesitate to actively engage with classmates during an activity, the presenter will discuss potential methods that can be used to encourage students to overcome their hesitations.