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How to Measure Student Engagement in the Classroom

Lori

how to measure student engagementAt Qball, we focus on student engagement a lot. After all, one of the main reasons we developed our flagship product was to help teachers improve engagement levels in their classrooms. However, quantifying engagement can be a difficult thing. In many cases, engagement isn’t something you can physically examine –– it isn’t tangible and you can’t collate it. You can feel its effects, though. And you can certainly see the signs of an engaged classroom if you look closely. (Alternatively, it’s easy to notice when a class becomes disengaged.) Wondering how to measure student engagement in the classroom? Then you’ve come to the right place. Check out our guide here:

Ask for Feedback

One straightforward way to measure student engagement is to flat-out ask your students if they’re engaged. Holding surveys at strategic intervals during the semester (typically halfway through) can sometimes provide teachers with valuable insight about their students’ learning experiences. On the other hand, surveys are imperfect. For one, there’s no guarantee that a student will answer direct questions about engagement honestly. In fact, it’s reasonable to expect a disengaged student to lie about feeling engaged in order to simply avoid addressing a problem. Teachers can combat this possibility to some degree by asking open-ended questions about the class. If students are willing to answer those queries with thoughtful, measured responses, then there’s a good chance they feel engaged.

Body Language

Teachers know how difficult it can be to figure out what a student is thinking. Occasionally though, students will express their inner feelings outwardly –– through their body language. If someone isn’t engaged in a subject, it’s likely they’ll show signs of boredom during a class. Conversely, engaged students will pay close attention. Tell-tale signs of an engaged student include, but are not limited to:

  • Asking questions
  • Participating in group activities
  • Taking notes
  • Volunteering

Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to identifying physical signs of engagement. Some highly engaged students may not seem very active simply because they’re shy, or they have a laid-back personality. It’s okay to look for signs of engagement from your students, but don’t judge a book by its cover!

Out-of-Class Evidence

Ideally, student engagement should extend beyond the walls of the classroom. But since teachers can’t witness how their students study, homework assignments can display whether or not a student is motivated by a class. In this regard, teachers should focus on completion rate and consistency more so than cognitive performance. Establishing a passion for learning is the most important factor here.

Final Thoughts

You may have noticed that we didn’t include grades as a way to measure engagement. Yes, an uptick in engagement can lead to an improvement in a student’s work. However, grades are a flawed metric to gauge classroom engagement. It’s entirely possible for a bored, disengaged student to achieve a high grade, while a completely immersed student may still struggle with the material. Occasionally, you’ll be able to track a student’s progress through grades, but that’s not always the case.   

Remember, if you’re looking for new ways to inspire and motivate your class, then click here to learn more about the Qball. Qball is the #1 throwable microphone that was designed for classroom settings. Experience why 150,000 students already love the Qball and buy one for your class here!

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