Student attendance vs student engagement: can student's personal devices be used to enhance engagement with course material?

Fielder, David (2016) Student attendance vs student engagement: can student's personal devices be used to enhance engagement with course material? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Generation Y students of 18-25 year olds comprise the majority of the current set of undergraduates, and personal devices are the constant companion of this generation, growing up as the Net generation, these students are used to having their information needs and wants answered immediately (Bomhold, 2013, p.424). Traditional teaching lectures in higher education tend to be passive presentations, this can result in frustration and disengagement for students due to the thought of powering down from their devices (Prensky, 2005, p. 64).
    The University of Portsmouth's official 'Student Attendance and Engagement Monitoring' policy, section '4.1 student engagement indicators', states that attendance at learning sessions are the main indicator of student engagement. However, personal experience would disagree with this. While the existing literature describes the beneficial features of personal devices, it is limited in studies detailing devices being incorporated into course material and learning. An asynchronous learning tool was implemented into an existing course 'Database Principles' in the form a discussion board, which students could access through their personal devices. The aim of this research is to analyse if this learning tool has a positive impact on student engagement, providing a beneficial use for devices and another way to monitor engagement with course material.
    Research for this project was carried out over a longitudinal period of four months to correlate student engagement with the unit assignment. Triangulation was used to cross-analyse data from qualitative and quantitative sources to support the results of the discussion board, providing enriched results. The results show students are driven to engage out of coursework need. Attendance is not the only measure of engagement as the results show that through the asynchronous discussion board, students can engage with course material in their own time, not just in sessions.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Technology > School of Computing
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2016 13:03
    Last Modified: 05 Aug 2016 13:03

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