Research in Higher Education

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 1–32 | Cite as

Student Engagement and Student Learning: Testing the Linkages*

  • Robert M. Carini
  • George D. Kuh
  • Stephen P. Klein
Article

Abstract

This study examines (1) the extent to which student engagement is associated with experimental and traditional measures of academic performance, (2) whether the relationships between engagement and academic performance are conditional, and (3) whether institutions differ in terms of their ability to convert student engagement into academic performance. The sample consisted of 1058 students at 14 four-year colleges and universities that completed several instruments during 2002. Many measures of student engagement were linked positively with such desirable learning outcomes as critical thinking and grades, although most of the relationships were weak in strength. The results suggest that the lowest-ability students benefit more from engagement than classmates, first-year students and seniors convert different forms of engagement into academic achievement, and certain institutions more effectively convert student engagement into higher performance on critical thinking tests.

Keywords

student engagement critical thinking value added NSSE student learning 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Astin, A. W. 1991Assessment for Excellence: The Philosophy and Practice of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher EducationAmerican Council on Education/MacmillanNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Baird, L. L. 1976Biographical and educational correlates of graduate and professional school admissions test scoresEducational and Psychological Measurement36415420Google Scholar
  3. Baird, L. L. 1988

    Value Added: Using student gains as yardsticks of learning

    Adelman, C. eds. Performance and Judgement: Essays on Principles and Practice in the Assessment of College Student LearningU.S. Government Printing OfficeWashington, DC205216
    Google Scholar
  4. Benjamin, R., Hersh, R. H. 2002Measuring the difference that college makesPeer Review4710Google Scholar
  5. Bohr, L., Pascarella, E. T., Nora, A., Zusman, B., Jacobs, M., Desler, M., Bulakowski, C. 1994Cognitive effects of two-year and four-year colleges: A preliminary studyCommunity College Review22411Google Scholar
  6. Chun, M. 2002Looking whether the light is better: A review of the literature on assessing higher education qualityPeer Review41625Google Scholar
  7. Cronbach, L. J., Furby, L. 1970How we should measure “change” – or should we?Psychological Bulletin746880Google Scholar
  8. Ewell, P. T. 1984The Self-regarding Institution: Information for ExcellenceNational Center for Higher Education Management SystemsBoulder, COGoogle Scholar
  9. Ewell, P. T. 1988

    Outcomes, assessment, and academic improvement: In search of usable knowledge

    Smart, J. C. eds. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and ResearchAgathon PressNew York53108
    Google Scholar
  10. Ewell, P. T. 1994A Policy Guide for Assessment: Making Good Use of the Tasks in Critical ThinkingEducational Testing ServicePrinceton, NJGoogle Scholar
  11. Ewell, P. T. 2002An Analysis of Relationships between NSSE and Selected Student Learning Outcomes Measures for Seniors Attending Public institutions in South DakotaNational Center for Higher Education Management SystemsBoulder, COGoogle Scholar
  12. Ewell, P. T., Jones, D. P. 1996Indicators of “Good Practice” in Undergraduate Education: A Handbook for Development and ImplementationNational Center for Higher Education Management SystemsBoulder, COGoogle Scholar
  13. Gentemann, K. M., Fletcher, J. J., Potter, D. L. 1994

    Refocusing the academic program review on student learning

    Kinnick, M. K. eds. Providing Useful Information for Deans and Dpartment Chairs. New Directions for Institutional ResearchJossey-BassSan Francisco3146Vol. 84
    Google Scholar
  14. Halpern, D. F. (1987). Recommendations and caveats, In Halpern, D. F. (ed.), Student Outcomes Assessment: What Institutions Stand to Gain. New Directions for Higher Education, Vol. 59, pp. 109–111.Google Scholar
  15. Hughes, R., Pace, C. R. 2003Using NSSE to study student retention and withdrawalAssessment Update1512Google Scholar
  16. Jacobi, M., Astin, A., Ayala, F. 1987College Student Outcomes Assessment: A Talent Development Perspective. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 7Association for the Study of Higher EducationWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Klein, S. P. 1996The costs and benefits of performance testing on the bar examinationThe Bar Examiner651320Google Scholar
  18. Klein, S. P. 2001Rationale and Plan for Assessing Higher Education Outcomes with Direct Constructed Response Measures of Student SkillsCouncil for Aid to Education, Higher Education Policy Series, Number 3New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  19. Klein, S. P. 2002Direct assessment of cumulative student learningPeer Review42628Google Scholar
  20. Klein, S. P., Kuh, G. D., Chun, M., Hamilton, L., Shavelson, R. 2005An approach to measuring cognitive outcomes across higher education institutionsResearch in Higher Education46251276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuh, G. D. 2001Assessing what really matters to student learning: Inside the National Survey of Student EngagementChange33101766Google Scholar
  22. Kuh, G. D. 2003What we’re learning about student engagement from NSSEChange352432Google Scholar
  23. Kuh, G. D., Hayek, J. C., Carini, R. M., Ouimet, J. A., Gonyea, R. M., Kennedy, J. 2001NSSE Technical and Norms ReportIndiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and PlanningBloomington, INGoogle Scholar
  24. Kuh, G. D., Hu, S. 2001Learning productivity at research universitiesJournal of Higher Education72128Google Scholar
  25. Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., Whitt, E. J.,  et al. 2005Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that MatterJossey-Bass and American Association for Higher EducationSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  26. Kuh, G. D., Pascarella, E. T. 2004What does institutional selectivity tell us about educational quality?Change365258Google Scholar
  27. Kuh, G. D., Schuh, J. H., Whitt, E. J.,  et al. 1991Involving Colleges: Successful Approaches to Fostering Student Learning and Personal Development Outside the ClassroomJossey-BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  28. National Survey of Student Engagement2003Converting Data into Action: Expanding the Boundaries of Institutional ImprovementIndiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and PlanningBloomington, INGoogle Scholar
  29. National Survey of Student Engagement2004NSSE 2004 OverviewIndiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and PlanningBloomington, INGoogle Scholar
  30. Pace, C. R. 1984Measuring the Quality of College Student ExperiencesUniversity of California, Higher Education Research InstituteLos AngelesGoogle Scholar
  31. Pascarella, E. T. 2001Identifying excellence in undergraduate education: Are we even close?Change331923Google Scholar
  32. Pascarella, E. T., Terenzini, P. T. 1991How College Affects StudentsJossey-BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  33. Pascarella, E. T., Terenzini, P. T. 2005How College Affects Students: A Third Decade of ResearchJossey-BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  34. Pascarella, E. T., Wolniak, G. C. 2004Change or not to change: Is there a question? A response to PikeJournal of College Student Development45353355Google Scholar
  35. Pascarella, E. T., Bohr, L., Nora, A., Terenzini, P. T. 1994Is Differential Exposure to College linked to the Development of Critical Thinking?National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, Illinois Univ.ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  36. Pike, G. R. 1992Lies, damn lies, and statistics revisited: A comparison of three methods of representing changeResearch in Higher Education337184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pike, G. R. 2004Lord’s paradox and the assessment of change during collegeJournal of College Student Development45348352Google Scholar
  38. Pohlmann, J. T. 1974A description of effective college teaching in five disciplines as measured by student ratingsResearch in Higher Education4335346Google Scholar
  39. Raudenbush, S. W., Bryk, A. S. 2002Hierarchical Linear Models: Applications and Data Analysis Methods2Sage PublicationsThousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  40. Shulman, L. S. 2002Making differences: A table of learningChange343645Google Scholar
  41. Terenzini, P. T. 1989Assessment with open eyes: Pitfalls in studying student outcomesJournal of Higher Education60644664Google Scholar
  42. Tinto, V. 1993Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition2University of Chicago PressChicagoGoogle Scholar
  43. Vandament, W.E. (1987). A state university perspective on student outcomes assessment. In Halpern, D. F. (ed.). Student outcomes assessment: What institutions stand to gain. New Directions for Higher Education, Vol. 59, pp. 25–28.Google Scholar
  44. Winter, D. G., McClelland, D. C., Stewart, A. J. 1981A New Case for the Liberal ArtsJossey-BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Carini
    • 1
  • George D. Kuh
    • 2
  • Stephen P. Klein
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Postsecondary ResearchIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.The RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA

Personalised recommendations