Defining, Detecting and Promoting Student Engagement in College Learning Environments

Chris Garrett


Although much scholarship has been produced on the importance of engagement in higher education, few works on the topic focus on defining engagement. This paper explores definitions gathered from faculty and students at two universities and also identifies and summarizes several extant definitions in the scholarly literature. Teachers are encouraged to consider their own definitions of and expectations for student engagement. Accurately detecting genuine engagement can be challenging. The author proposes six strategies for promoting engagement.


Active learning, College students, Learning environments, Participation, Student engagement

APA Citation

Garrett, C. (2011). Defining, detecting and promoting student engagement in college learning environments. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal, 5, 1-12.

About the Study

Links to Article
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal
Type of Research Qualitative
Research Design Interviews
Intervention/Areas of Study Engagement
Level of Analysis
Specific Populations Examined Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest Other
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size 0-99
Citing Articles,50&sciodt=0,50&hl=en