Exploring Student Engagement and Disengagement in University Education, Can Vocational Activities/Practice-Based Learning Help?

Authors: Albinson, P.


Start date: 22 March 2016

Journal: The 21st Annual INSPIRE (International conference for Process Improvement, Research and Education) Conference

Publisher: BCS

Place of Publication: London

Student engagement is a commonly discussed term within education especially within Higher Education where academics regularly engage in research around the topic with the aim of improving engagement and the student experience. However, despite the focus on and recognised importance of engagement it has been observed, particularly by academic staff, that disengagement amongst students is increasing. This paper explores the possible reasons for reduced engagement in universities and contemplates whether the teaching approaches used in higher education are to blame. It looks at approaches that are better suited to adult learners to meet the way they approach education, their needs, complex lifestyles and so forth. A case study is presented, influenced by this literature, designed to improve engagement via a lab session which is vocationally relevant with examples that are more realistic to a work environment. This is done to help meet the growing trend of students wishing to see the vocational relevance of their studies. Results showed activities like this can increase engagement and enhance the student experience and student learning.

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