Delving deeper into student engagement: Conversations between academics and analysts

Nicole Sugden, Robyn Brunton, Jasmine McDonald (Presenter), Ben Hicks, Cassandra Colvin, Michelle Yeo

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


A team of psychology academics and learning experience designers collaborated to develop interactive online learning resources for two undergraduate psychology subjects; including, interactive topic mindmaps, scenario-based learning tutorials, and a series of interactive scenario games. A sequential mixed-methods approach was adopted to explore the student behaviour patterns in accessing online resources, the time they spend on subject sites, their attitudes towards the resources, how the resources influenced their learning, and demographic correlates of engagement with resources. From a total pool of 220 students, 63 students completed a quantitative online survey, 22 participated in two focus groups, and 7 participated in individual in-depth interviews. Analysts from the university analytics team were then engaged, resulting in the amalgamation of traditional quantitative survey and qualitative interview/focus group data with detailed analytic data. As a result, the team were able to delve deeper into what students are doing in the subject sites. This poster presentation will describe the team’s methodology and the combined approach of using quantitative, qualitative, and analytic data. The aim is to provide insights for academics and higher education administrators regarding the development of novel online learning resources, multidisciplinary assessment, and triangulation of diverse data sources. Some of the questions that were able to be answered included: Does qualitative student feedback about how they study reflect their actual online activity? Do students access resources in the order academics and designers expect/intend them to? Do students go back through topics to revise? Do students with higher grades spend less time online; i.e., are they more time efficient? In answering these questions using combined survey, interview, focus group, and analytics data, this cross-division collaboration has resulted in dynamic and rich conversations about student engagement. Future collaborations like this will allow academics to better understand students’ needs and adapt teaching strategies accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2019
EventAustralian College of Applied Psychology Conference: ACAP 2019 - Australian College of Applied Psychology, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Oct 201928 Oct 2019


ConferenceAustralian College of Applied Psychology Conference
Abbreviated titleInnovations in a changing world
Internet address


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