Can fidgeting be used to measure student engagement in online learning tasks?

Witchel, Harry J, Westling, Carina E I, Tee, Julian, Ranji, Thomas T, Needham, Rob, Healey, Aoife, Santos, Carlos P, Ackah, James, Chalkley, Joe and Chockalingam, Nachiappan (2019) Can fidgeting be used to measure student engagement in online learning tasks? Pedagogic Research Conference 2018. Published in: Masika, Rachel and Chown, Adrian, (eds.) Research Matters: Articles from the Pedagogic Research Conference, 2018. 39-48. Centre for Learning and Teaching ISBN 9781910172209

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Fidgeting may be a way to monitor second-by-second student engagement, which would be especially useful for gauging and improving the effectiveness of online learning. This article is based on research that found less fidgeting during a formative online reading comprehension test indicated that students were more engaged.

Online formative assessments are effective facilitators of engagement, especially with intelligent tutoring systems. This research used two computerised, three-minute reading-comprehension tests, identical in all aspects except that one reading was boring and the other was interesting. These were presented to 27 healthy adult volunteers while alone in a classroom; the stimuli were combined with an interrupting clicking task that forces screen engagement. The participants’ postural movements were measured using video-tracking, and these were compared to subjective ratings for ten visual analogue scales in a repeated measures design.

The interesting reading elicited less fidgeting shoulder movement than the boring reading. There was also a correlation between the ratings for wanting ‘the experience to end earlier’ and the extent of shoulder movement. The research also indicated that the context of formative online reading tests, the type of boredom elicited is restless rather than lethargic.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Keywords: Engagement, boredom, Non-instrumental Movement Inhibition (NIMI), fidgeting.
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Harry Witchel
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2019 11:29
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2019 12:16

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