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  • Writer's pictureAkif Cal

Learner Engagement: What is it? Why does it matter?

Want to know about learning engagement? Let's focus on formalities first.


Engagement, etymologically, means to “attract, or occupy attention”. The key word here is attention. Why would someone in your classroom pay their attention to you? Or your coworker? We need to offer them something that would attract their attention.

If we look at educational sciences and focus on engagement in terms of learning, the formal definition of engagement goes like:

“being actively involved in a learning activity”

Here’s another key term: “actively involved”, meaning in a way that involves positive action.

So, learner engagement is about enabling learners to actively and meaningfully interact with the target material. Some strategies include*:

  • Asking learners what they already know about a topic before instruction,

  • Encouraging learners to take more active roles in collaborative learning and teaching,

  • Using activities that provide learners with a diverse range of engagement opportunities,

  • Offering multiple versions of activities or assignments.


Why is it important to promote learner engagement? There are several reasons**:

First of all, it improves knowledge retention. This is all about remembering new information.

Additionally, learners can achieve deeper understanding of content. This is achieved through activities that focus on application of new knowledge or skills rather than simply memorizing it.

Finally, learner engagement promotes self-directed learning. If a learner is active during the learning process, it is highly likely that they will seek out more opportunities to learn independently.


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