Understanding and Developing Student Engagement

Edited by Colin Bryson

© 2014 – Routledge

266 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415843393
pub: 2014-03-06
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Hardback: 9780415843386
pub: 2014-03-12
US Dollars$173.95

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About the Book

Enhancing the student experience, and in particular student engagement, has become a primary focus of Higher Education. It is in particularly sharp focus as Higher Education moves forward into the uncertain world of high student fees and a developed Higher Education market. Student engagement is a hot topic, in considering how to offer ‘value’ and a better student experience. Moreover it is receiving much attention all over the world and underpins so many other priorities such as retention, widening participation and improving student learning generally.

Understanding and Developing Student Engagement draws from a range of contributors in a wide variety of roles in Higher Education and all contributors are actively involved in the Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) Network.

While utilising detailed case examples from UK universities, the authors also provide a critical review and distillation of the differing paradigms of Student Engagement in America, Australasia, South Africa and Europe, drawing upon key research studies and concepts from a variety of contexts.

This book uncovers the multi-dimensional nature of student engagement, utilising case examples from both student and staff perspectives, and provides conceptual clarity and strong evidence about this rather elusive notion. It provides a firm foundation from which to discuss practices and policies that might best serve to foster engagement.


"Why do some students do better at university than others? A perennial question, with perennial answers, including ability, background, culture, and so on. In the last few years the term ‘engagement’ has increasingly found itself on the list of answers. But as with all the others, we quickly find ourselves asking the follow-up question: ‘But it all depends what you mean by this term’. Colin Bryson, and is co-authors, have done a fantastic job here of a pulling together, in one book, an analysis of the multiple meanings of the term ‘student engagement’ and how exactly it contributes to answering that original question." – John Lea, Educational Developments

Table of Contents

1. Clarifying the Concept of Student Engagement

Colin Bryson

SECTION I - Students Engaging – perspectives from researchers

2. Nottingham Tales: Diverse Student Journeys through their Undergraduate Degrees

Colin Bryson and Christine Hardy

3. The Listening Project: Physiotherapy Students’ Narratives of their Higher Education Experiences

Claire Hamshire and Christopher Wibberley

4. Engagement as Dynamic and Relational: Students’ Accounts and Achievements over Time

Julie Wintrup

SECTION II - Students Engaging – perspectives from students

5. Experiences of Engagement: The Successes and Issues from a Student Perspective

Ruth Furlonger, Daniel Johnson and Beth Parker

6. Music to Listen to while Writing: Ludovico Einaudi or Amazing Piano Music

Sue Lund

7. Auto-ethnographic Writing and Student Engagement Practices: A Personal and Critical Reflection

Zoë Sarah Baker

8. People Can Make or Break Student Engagement

Emma Chadwyck

9. Students as Researchers: Personal Reflections by Students of their Engagement in a Research Project

Viola Borsos, Christopher Demirjian, Ji Kim, Nga Wun Mok, Oliver Worsley, Christine Hardy and Sean Prince

10. Cross-Cultural Experiences: Exploring Engagement as an International Postgraduate

Shanna Saubert

11. The NTSU Outstanding Teaching Awards: Student Perspectives on Engagement

Ed Foster and Jo Southwell-Sander

12. The Impact of Co-Curricular Activity on Student Engagement

Sarah Johnson, Rebecca Murphy and Sarah Parnham

SECTION III - Engaging Students

13. ‘What Matters in the End is to Act Well’: Student Engagement and Ethics

Carol Taylor and Carol Robinson

14. Academic Engagement: Engaging Who and to What End?

Sam Elkington

15. Using Student Engagement Research to Improve the First Year Experience at a UK University

Ed Foster, Michaela Borg, Sarah Lawther, Jane McNeil & Ellie Kennedy

16. Engaging Experienced Students as Academic Mentors in Support of the First Year Experience: The Epistemic Apprenticeship Project

Kay Sambell and Linda Graham

17. Enriching the Student Experience: Engaging Students and Staff

Andrea Jackson and Katie Livesey

18. Reflections and Considerations about the Future of Student Engagement

Colin Bryson

About the Editor

Colin Bryson is Director of the Combined Honours Centre at Newcastle University, UK.

About the Series

SEDA Series

Written by experienced and well-known practitioners and published in association with the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), each book in the series contributes to the development of learning, teaching and training and assists in the professional development of staff. The books present new ideas for learning development and facilitate the exchange of information and good practice.

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