A case study commissioned by the HEA Subject Centre for Art, Design and Media.
This study reviews the concept and measurement of student engagement, drawing on the approaches taken in the USA, Australia and now the UK. It critically explores these methods that impact politically on institutional approaches to educational practices, and draws on the current research of Hardy and Bryson (2008, 2009) and Bryson and Hand (2007, 2008) to make tentative conclusions as to a possible effective holistic approach to student engagement within the UK. It concludes by calling for a reframing of the concept, arguing that normative conceptions of good educational practices vary amongst institutions, programmes of studies and student subcultures. There can be no one ‘quick fix’ solution, it is a multi-faceted, social constructivist concept that should take account of students’ sense of self and aspirations and the context they are in.