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Student Engagement & Success in Higher Education: Home

Books, articles, and theories on fostering student engagement and success in higher education.


Use the tabs at the top of this guide to find resources available at James Addison Jones Library about fostering student engagement and success in the higher education classroom.  Read about popular theories for student engagement in higher education below.

Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura)

Emphasizes the role of social interactions, observational learning, and self-efficacy in shpaing behavior.  It suggests that students are more likely to engage in learning activities when they believe in their ability to succeed and when they observe others being engaged and successful.


Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan)

Focuses on the intrinsic motivation of individuals and suggests that students are more likely to engage in learning when they feel a sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.  When students feel they have control over their learning, competent in their abilities, and connected to others in the learning environment, they are more likely to be engaged.


Expectancy-Value Theory (Eccles & Wigfield)

Student engagement is influenced by their beliefs about their ability to succed and the value they place on the task or activity.  Students are more likely to engage in activities that they believe they can succeed in and that they perceive as meaningful or valuable.


Community of Inquiry Framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer)

Focuses on the importance of social, cognitive, and teaching presences in creating a meaningful learning experience.  Student engagement is facilitated when there is a sense of community, cognitive activities are stimulated, and when teaching presence is strong in online learning environments.


Transactional Model of Student Engagement (Reeve & Tseng)

Student engagement is a dynamic and reciprocal process involving the interaction between the student and the learning environment.  This theory emphasizes the role of both personal and contextual factors in shaping student engagement and suggests that engagement is influenced by factors such as motivation, self-regulation, teacher support, and the design of learning tasks.


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