University Putra Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 7610-7623
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The concept of student engagement has been in literature for more than 70 years. It appears in different terminology but refers to the same concept that is “students learn from what they do in college”. Robert Pace was the one who promoted the idea of “quality of student effort” in around 1980s. He believes that quality of education is determined by the engagement of students in the learning processes and the enriching educational experiences in higher learning institutions. Educationists also believe that good practices in undergraduate teaching will directly affect student engagement in the classroom and activities outside the classroom. Lecturers who manage to implement good practices will not just involve their students in classroom activities, but also encourage better student-faculty interaction beyond the classroom. Previous studies also revealed that there is a relationship between the approaches adopted by teachers and approaches taken by students. Hence, a Teaching-Learning Engagement (TL Engagement) model was hypothesized in order to examine the association of approaches to teaching and learning as determinant factors for student engagement in the Malaysian tertiary education context.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the contributions of teaching and learning approaches towards predicting student engagement in a local public university. More specifically, the research intends to identify how the relations of teacher-focused or student-focused teaching approaches, with surface or deep learning approaches affects student engagement. A number of 350 second year students was randomly selected from 14 programmes covered various disciplines. The study made use of a survey form consists of modified version of approaches to teaching inventory (ATI), Biggs’s study process questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) and several items from College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ). Descriptive correlation research design with structural equation modelling (SEM) was applied to address the research objective.

The results of the study indicated that the TL Engagement model fit the sample data. The path coefficients of the model show that student-focused teaching approach was significantly related to deep approach in learning. Conversely, students who perceived their lecturers as adopting teacher-focused teaching methods were more likely to employ surface approach in their study. The analysis of the TL Engagement model also indicated that student-focused teaching approach and deep learning approach were positively related to student engagement. Based on the findings, suggestions are proposed to utilise the TL Engagement model in order to enhance the higher education quality.
Teaching approaches, learning approaches, student engagement, TL Engagement model.