Foundation Elements

3.  How can educators ascertain student perceptions of levels of engagement in a task or activity? 

The purpose of students going to school is to learn how to learn, discover an intrinsic sense of value in the curriculum, and actively want to invest in their daily learning experiences in order to accomplish greater outcomes. The question is from a student’s perspective, what are the essential components to engaging today’s 21st century learners?

The context of today’s students, text-based curriculum no longer supports learner needs. The first step to implementing a student-centered classroom is an awareness and understanding of how students perceive learning activities. Students, like teachers, make choices everyday. If students perceive learning to be important, then they will engage, attend, and choose to invest in the activity. Instruction must incorporate real-life application of learning, performance-based assessments, and opportunity for choice. Millen, et. al. (2007) asks insightful questions into how students perceive their learning experiences.

Engagement  In what ways do your students attribute importance to what they are learning?
Relevance  Are your students doing work they find interesting and useful to them?

Choice  When do they have a choice about ways to accomplish identified learning outcomes?
Interaction  In what ways do your students work with others as part of classroom activities?
Assessment  What forms / types of evidence of learning do they produce?