How do students, lecturers and managers in higher education understand 'student engagement' and factors impacting undergraduate students' motivation and autonomy?

Bartholomew, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-5404-0046, 2022. How do students, lecturers and managers in higher education understand 'student engagement' and factors impacting undergraduate students' motivation and autonomy? EdD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This doctoral thesis, set within an education context, examines the undergraduate students' experience of the UK's Higher Education (HE) system as it relates to their engagement, motivation and autonomy. It adopts a pragmatist approach aligned with an interpretivist and generic qualitative methodology, informed by grounded theory principles and elements of phenomenology. It symbiotically explores the research participants' perspectives and lived experiences within UK higher education.

The 'Student Engagement' phenomenon, together with the sector’s existing accountability-driven, neoliberal framework, provide the background context for a two-part Case Study employing a multimethod approach (Creswell, 2015). Part One uses students’ written stories as the method to obtain accounts from twenty-five final year design students about a motivational learning experience. Content analysis, supported by grounded theory principles (Mende, 2020) is used to examine the data (Drisko and Maschi, 2015). Case Study Part Two uses semi-structured interviews with final-year students, lecturers and managers from the discipline of Art and Design at three different higher education institutions, to share perceptions and experiences relating to the themes 'student engagement', motivation and autonomy. Findings identified students benefit from becoming more involved in HE experiences, collaborating with students and staff to increase confidence and motivation, engage with pedagogies that promote independent learning. Findings also uncovered a lack of consensus of opinion relating to the purpose or meaning of the phrase 'Student Engagement'. A recommendation proposes replacing this multi-meaning phrase with a new ideology that places the foci further along the continuum of human development in young adults, referred to as 'Student Autonomy'. As the principal construct and common goal for Higher Education, the emphasis would be to design enabling interventions that develop students' self-awareness, independence and autonomy.

Outputs of this work include two separate tools to underpin 'Student Autonomy'. First being the 'Pedagogy Action Card' (PAC) game designed for lecturers. This encourages peer and self-reflection relating to teaching practice, whereby impacts of taught sessions are considered from students' perspective. Second is 'Bartholomew’s Taxonomy of Self: The motivated undergraduate student'. This is designed to support all stakeholders in higher education to better understand the emotional and psychological development of undergraduate students' transformational journey across the degree. A user guide for lecturers explores how curriculum content enhances the skills and learning approaches of all students, with a focus on developing student autonomy.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Bartholomew, J.
Date: 2022
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Institute of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Nov 2022 14:29
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 14:29

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