Engagement has proven to have a positive relationship with student outcomes, especially in student reading1, math and science2, and ELA scores3. With the strong evidence indicating the importance of engagement for student outcomes, GoGuardian conducted a qualitative research study on engagement. After a methodology of interviews, focus groups, and field observations with over 450 students, teachers, school administrators, and education policy leaders, we found remarkable consistency as it relates to the elements of engagement, the factors that affect engagement in the learning experience, the indicators that signal an engaging learning experience is occurring, and the expectations for how an engaging learning experience prepares students for the 21st century.
With the changing landscape of K-12 education and the sudden shift to distance learning, these findings are additionally examined in comparison to existing literature on the factors that influence engagement in an online learning context. In sum, the study describes the themes that consistently emerge in relation to engaging learning experiences, highlighting commonalities across geographies, grade levels, and stakeholder groups, and placing the findings into the context of today’s hybrid learning environment.