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6 Actions To Make Student Engagement Soar On Your Campus

In 2010, Nick Zepke and Linda Leach, professors of Massey University in New Zealand, published an article entitled Improving Student Engagement: Ten Proposals for Action. This article is a synthesis of 93 studies published in 10 different countries. It aims to discuss the ways universities and colleges can get students more engaged and its limitations.

While the whole article is definitely worth the read, we decided we would share the points that pertains more to our own engagement to students. At OOHLALA, we hope to increase student engagement by creating a mobile campus community to improve the student life experience. (We decided to include photos of kids for each point just for fun). Enjoy the read!

1. Enhance students’ self-belief

"There is no agreement in the research literature as to what motivates learners to engage, but the dominant view is that students engage when they act as their own learning agents working to achieve goals meaningful to them. This means that what students believe about themselves as learners is very important. They must believe they can learn, including that they can overcome and learn from failure. Giving students some control over learning processes helps develop this confidence and commitment to learning."

2. Create learning that is active, collaborative, and fosters learning relationships

“Findings acknowledge that active learning in groups, peer relationships, and social skills are important in engaging learners.” (p. 171)

3. Create educational experiences for students that are challenging and enriching and that extend their academic abilities

"Easy learning activities and assignments are not as effective at engaging students as activities and assignments that challenge them. When students are reflecting, questioning, conjecturing, evaluating, and making connections between ideas, they are engaged. “Teachers need to create rich educational experiences that challenge students’ ideas and stretch them as far as they can go.” (p. 171)

4. Ensure that institutional cultures are welcoming to students from diverse backgrounds

"To become engaged, students must feel they are accepted and affirmed. They must feel they belong at an institution."

5. Adapt to changing student expectations

"An institution should never be satisfied with how it is promoting student engagement. As students change and new research evidence emerges, institutional practices should be adjusted. Engagement cannot just be promoted, it must also be maintained."

6. Enable students to develop their social and cultural capital

"This kind of capital derives from a sense of belonging, from active relationships with others, and from knowing how things work around the institution. It is especially essential for minority students who need to be successful not only in the classroom but beyond it as well."


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