Data Analytics – A critique of the appropriation of a new measure of ‘Student Engagement’.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Student Engagement has begun to mean many things to many people over the past decade (REACT, 2017), as university staff and students have witnessed and championed new way of working with each other as stakeholders of Higher Education (HE). As noted by Dunne (2016), there is now a plethora of roles and initiatives where students are engaged to make change, co-design, conduct research and work in partnership in HE. I see these roles as part of a positive move of increasing student involvement into new capacities, as fellows of our shared HE community and even as partners in the educational landscape. However, the growth of new roles and initiatives has led to confusion along the way. The term ‘Student Engagement’ alone is incredibly debated (Finn, Zimmer, 2012) and it has been accelerated into policy (QAA, 2013, BIS, 2011). This lack of clarity over definition may leave behind students and staff who begin to see the term as a ‘slippery concept’ (Gibbs, 2016, Shaw, 2016). At seminars and conferences, I still find myself in sessions addressing questions such as “what is an engaged student”, “what is not an engaged student?” and “what is Student Engagement?” This opinion piece, however, has been inspired through witnessing an increasing new use of the term ‘Student Engagement’ with regards to data analytic initiatives increasingly rolled out across UK Universities, as means to track students’ interactions with online services, curricula, attendance monitoring and even visits to campus. This is a new use for a term, which many RAISE members will see not as Student Engagement in a chapter B5 understanding of the term (QAA, 2013), but as possibly the first of many appropriations of the term for alternative means (Bryson, 2017).
LanguageEnglish
Pages2-6
JournalStudent Engagement in Higher Education Journal
Volume2
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Student engagement
  • higher education
  • data analysis

Cite this

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Data Analytics – A critique of the appropriation of a new measure of ‘Student Engagement’. / Lowe, Tom.

Vol. 2, No. 1, 01.04.2018, p. 2-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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