This study examined prior knowledge and student engagement in student performance. Log data were used to explore the distribution of final grades (i.e., weak, good, excellent final grades) occurring in an elective under-graduate course. Previous research has established behavioral and agentic engagement factors contribute to academic achievement (Reeve, 2013). Hierarchical logistic regression using both prior knowledge and log data from the course revealed: (a) the weak-grades group demonstrated less behavioral engagement than the good-grades group, (b) the good-grades group demonstrated less agentic engagement than the excellent-grades group, and (c) models composed of both prior knowledge and engagement measures were more accurate than models composed of only engagement measures. Findings demonstrate students performing at different grade-levels may experience different challenges in their course engagement. This study informs our own instructional strategies and interventions to increase student success in the course and provides recommendations for other instructors to support student success.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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