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ERIC Number: EJ1161960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Student Engagement in the Educational Interface: Understanding the Mechanisms of Student Success
Kahu, Ella R.; Nelson, Karen
Higher Education Research and Development, v37 n1 p58-71 2018
Student success and retention continue to be of concern for higher education institutions. Wider participation, combined with lower completion rates for non-traditional students, highlights the need for new ways of understanding the student experience to ground policy and practice. This article provides this insight by drawing together a number of key constructs to refine a recent framework of student engagement. We argue that the transition metaphor, focusing on the first year, is limited because it depicts differences between students and institutions as both transient and temporal. Instead, we use a cultural lens to introduce the educational interface as a metaphor for the individual psychosocial space within which institutional and student factors combine and student engagement in learning occurs. Incorporating the interface into the existing framework of student engagement makes three contributions to our understanding of the student experience. First, the educational interface is a tangible way of representing the complex interactions between students and institutions, and how those interactions influence engagement. Second, the refined framework highlights four specific psychosocial constructs: self-efficacy, emotions, belonging and well-being, which, we contend, are critical mechanisms for mediating the interactions between student and institutional characteristics and student engagement and success. Finally, the refined framework helps to explain why some students with demographic characteristics associated with lower completion rates are retained and do go on to successfully complete their studies, while similar others do not. These three contributions, the interface, the key constructs within it being mediating mechanisms and their explanatory utility, provide focus for the design and implementation of curricula and co-curricular initiatives aimed at enhancing student success and retention, and importantly to evaluate the impact of these interventions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A