Teaching Matters

Presentation 7 LT5

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


The CALE 'Student View' project: What do online students say helps or hinders their engagement?


Jillian Downing, School of Education
Janet Dyment, School of Education
Elizabeth Freeman, School of Humanities
Belinda Hopwood, School of Education
Naomi Milthorpe, School of Humanities
Tracey Muir, School of Education
Cathy Stone, University of Newcastle


Excellent teaching engages students and encourages them to learn

Presentation Type



Lecture Theatre 5




We will share some of the goals, outcomes, and implications of the 2018 CALE Hothouse-Funded project ‘Student View: A pilot study into the student experience of online learning across disciplines.’ This project focuses specifically on ‘the student view’ and is innovative in its attention to student engagement over time. By interviewing and collecting quantitative data from the same students longitudinally from before semester commences until after semester concludes, the project provides insights into how and why students’ engagement in online learning changes or stays the same at different times in semester.

As our presentation will convey, the students recruited for the study (all Education students) commented on multiple factors (e.g. influence of other students, teacher presence, university processes and policies, and especially personal commitments outside their university studies) that contributed to their engagement or disengagement as learners over the course of semester. The students also made interesting comments on the basic question of what ‘engagement’ actually means to them. These views are worth hearing and sharing, since enhancing student engagement and online learning are obviously relevant across UTAS and more broadly (Department of Education and Training, 2017; Stone, 2017; UTAS, 2015; UTAS, 2017).

The project members welcome the opportunity at Teaching Matters to share and discuss their work so far, as well as seek insights and feedback from the audience (e.g. do audience members have any observations on students’ engagement in other disciplines – similarities/differences with our Education students?), in preparation for their planned expansion of the project in 2019.


Department of Education and Training. (2017). Improving retention, completion and success in higher education. Higher Education Standards Panel discussion paper, June 2017. Canberra: Australian Government.

Stone, C. (2017). Opportunity through online learning: Improving student access, participation and success in higher education. Equity Fellowship Final Report. Perth: Curtin University, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/publications/opportunity-online-learning-improving-student-access-participation-success-higher-education/

UTAS. (2015). Blended Learning Model (Version 2, March 2015). http://www.teaching-learning.utas.edu.au/unit-design/blended-learning-model and links therein.

UTAS. (2017). Blended Learning Approach: Principles, College of Arts and Law (January 2017).

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