2012 Defining student engagement

Caroline Heaton and Helen Kay

The term ‘Student Engagement’ is used widely across the HE sector in a variety of contexts, to refer to matters concerning the perceptions, participation, expectations and experience of being a student within Higher Education.  The Higher Education Academy defines Student Engagement as providing opportunities for students to be ‘active partners in shaping their learning experiences’ (http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/student-engagement).  These opportunities can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  For example, the University of Exeter has developed a focus on Student Engagement which concentrates on student-led action research initiatives (http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/educationenhancementprojects/current_projects/change/) and the University of Lincoln’s ‘Student as Producer’ scheme provides opportunities for students to work alongside staff in the design and delivery of their teaching and learning programmes (http://studentasproducer.lincoln.ac.uk/

The Quality Assurance Agency is about to publish a new chapter within its UK Quality Code for Higher Education (http://www.qaa.ac.uk/AssuringStandardsAndQuality/quality-code/Pages/default.aspx) which addresses engagement in relation to the provision of feedback from students and student participation in quality assurance / enhancement processes.   This is in addition to the chapter: Learning and Teaching which will address students engagement in deep and independent learning. 

This co-lab will introduce and explore the good practice promoted within the codes of practice and will provide an opportunity for participants to consider and discuss their implications for Sheffield Hallam University.  It will include reflection on the various aspects of Student Engagement which are promoted within the sector and consideration of those features of Student Engagement which contribute to the student experience at Sheffield Hallam.  The session will also provide a forum for consideration of how Student Engagement might potentially be defined within an institutional framework.

Link to presentation:  Defining student engagement

B6 – (EN23) 11.50