Conceptualising and measuring student engagement through the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE): a critique

Pauline Hagel, Rodney Carr, Marcia Devlin
  • Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, June 2012, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2010.545870

How best to measure student engagement?

What is it about?

Much is heard about 'student engagement' in higher education these days, but what does this term really mean? In Australia, the term is synonymous with the AUSSE, built on the NSSE. We propose in this article that the quantitative assumptions underpinning the AUSSE are questionable. For example, just because a student does a little or a lot of something doesn't necessarily mean they are less or more engaged. We propose that other conceptions of engagement may be more appropriate to use.

Why is it important?

The ideas in this article challenge dominant thinking in Australia and elsewhere about what student engagement really is and means. The article contents did not make us popular with some powerful people but our work here taps into a widespread disquiet about importing measures from other countries that have quite different higher education contexts and using concepts that are easy to measure but that may have questionable validity.

The following have contributed to this page: Marcia Devlin

In partnership with: