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ERIC Number: EJ1092152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
Understanding How and Why College Students Engage in Learning
Lukowiak, Twila; Hunzicker, Jana
Journal of Effective Teaching, v13 n1 p44-63 2013
Part of a larger research project, this article presents a phenomenological self-study exploring the qualities of student engagement that occurred in one professors' college class-room over two semesters' time. The purpose of the study was to better understand college students' engagement in learning utilizing a reflective, data-based process. The study piloted a modified Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI) data collection process using a peer observation format. In addition to IPI codes and anecdotal notes, data collection included professor/investigators' written reflections, student course evaluations, and a student focus group. The study addressed two research questions: 1) How do college students engage in learning? and 2) Why do college students engage in learning? College students in the study engaged in learning most often when they paid attention, participated actively in discussion, and used higher order thinking to complete class assignments. They were motivated to engage in learning when they viewed information, activities, and assignments as relevant, felt emotionally connected to the course content, and experienced positive interactions with their professor.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A