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Isaac Newton Building

Isaac Newton Building

University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln

Lincoln

LN6 7TS

United Kingdom

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Belonging: A critical influence on student engagement and well-being in the first year

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Exploring student engagement in the first year: Multifaceted, contextual, and dynamic

Student engagement – the student’s emotional, behavioural, and cognitive connection to their study – is widely recognised as an important influence on student learning, retention, and success in higher education. But engagement is often poorly defined and poorly understood. This presentation presents a conceptual framework of student engagement that clarifies the distinction between the state of engagement, factors that influence student engagement, and the immediate and longer-term consequences of engagement. Drawing on cultural theory, the framework argues that engagement occurs in an educational interface – a psychosocial space, formed by the complex interaction of student and institutional factors, within which the student experiences university. In addition, four critical pathways to engagement are identified: self-efficacy, belonging, emotions, and wellbeing. In particular the framework offers new ways of understanding the experiences of non-traditional students. Engagement matters at all levels but never more than in the first year when student dropout rates are high. Elements of the framework will be explored and illustrated using data from a qualitative study which followed 19 young school leavers through their first year at an Australian university. This more nuanced and in-depth understanding of engagement, and of what engages (and disengages) students, will enable both academic and professional staff to better support students in the transition to university.

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Location

Isaac Newton Building

Isaac Newton Building

University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln

Lincoln

LN6 7TS

United Kingdom

View Map

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