The importance of student engagement

learning environments

For students to achieve the unit learning outcomes, our goal is to maximise student engagement with the learning materials through the adoption of active learning approaches. This applies whether the content/information is delivered by traditional F2F teaching methods or via online or blended learning approaches.

Our ACU LEO environment allows you to design and deliver learning materials that cater for students’ specific learning needs in online or blended learning environments.

For more information about the importance of student engagement and its link with high-quality learning, it is recommended that you review the resources in Learning and Teaching Centre created about student engagement to support postgraduate teaching. This information about student engagement is applicable to undergraduate and other courses/programs delivered at ACU.

Before looking at the individual LEO tools to help you create high quality online learning materials it is useful to consider the work of Oliver and Herrington. These researchers offer a model of how three important elements need to work together to maximise student engagement in online learning environments.

These three elements are:

Learning Materials Content and information can be provided from a multitude of sources. It is recognised that the unit content should be considered a resource for learning rather than the focus of learning.

Learning activities

Learning activities determine how the learners will engage with unit resources (materials) and its key purpose is to provide content to deal with the content. They must be active and engaging, engender cooperative and collaborative activities among the students and to provide opportunities for reflection.

Learning support (Critical but often over looked in the overall design)

Online learning environments need learning supports to be designed as integral parts of the learning process.This support is necessary to guide learners and to provide a feedback mechanism which is responsive and sensitive to their individual needs.

For more information about the three critical elements of online learning design, refer to:

Oliver, R., Herrington, J., (2001) Teaching and learning online: A beginner’s guide to e-learning and e-teaching in Higher Education. Edith Cowan University. Centre for Research in Information Technology and Communications, Edith Cowan University. Mt Lawley.

Learning & teaching

Please contact the Learning and Teaching Centre for professional development, resources and advice for your learning and teaching needs at ACU.

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