Action research and the improvement of student engagement: A summary report

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Student engagement is an issue of major concern, and its link to active learning has been a concept explored extensively due to its connection with retention, learning and academic success (Krause and Armitage, 2016; Trowler, 2016; Kuh, 2009). In 2010 alone, a review of the literature concerning student engagement located over 1,000 peer reviewed papers devoted to the topic (Trowler, 2016). The impact of student engagement and a sense of belonging have played a vital role in the retention of students. According to a series of surveys conducted by ‘What works’ in collaboration with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (Thomas, 2012), 1 in 12 students, or approximately over 8% in the UK, drop out of Higher Education within their first year of study. The survey comprising of 873 respondents further found that 37% or 1 in 3 students and 42% or 2 in 5 students in another survey of approximately 237 students think about withdrawing from Higher Education. Based on their study, which draws on data from seven randomly selected higher education institutions, improving student engagement and a sense of belonging is integral for retention of students for teaching staff and the institutions. This is more so because their study highlights the fact that a significant minority of students contemplate potential withdrawal.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish International Studies Association
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021


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