December 9, 2016
Engagement is a crucial part of learning, but ensuring students are actively engaged is more complex than whether a student is paying attention or not. As technology has made its way into the classroom many educators describe how attentive students are when on devices, but a quiet, outwardly behaved student is not the same thing as one that is truly engaged. The kind of engagement that leads to learning is three dimensional. When John Almarode, associate professor at James Madison University and co-director of the school’s Center for STEM Education and Outreach, visits classrooms he looks for behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement at play together. He points out that on-task behavior is not a strong measure of learning. He looks for eight different qualities that indicate students are engaged.