A scoping review of research instruments for measuring student engagement : In need for convergence

This article reports on how student engagement is measured in research on technology enhanced learning in higher education. For this purpose, a secondary analysis of a previously conducted systematic review on student engagement in higher education was carried out. 246 research instruments were extracted that relate to the cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions of student engagement. Although published in peer-reviewed journals, only 57.4% of the studies reveal their instrument or provide information on how they measured student engagement. Only 30.6% of the presented research instruments report reliability scores but most of those instruments rather relate to learning in general than to learning in educational technology contexts. Only four research instruments were used more than one time. These findings demonstrate the need for a convergence of instruments to operationalize student engagement. For further research, it is highly recommended to re-use instruments developed before and rely on scales with proven psychometric quality: A convergence of evaluated instruments is needed for researchers to rely on an established set of scales for the different dimensions of student engagement. To this end, we recommend relying on generic student engagement scales, as many of these reviewed instruments already exist and fulfill the requirements of psychometric criteria.


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