Curiosity, interest and engagement in technology-pervasive learning environments: a new research agenda

  • Marilyn P. ArnoneEmail author
  • Ruth V. Small
  • Sarah A. Chauncey
  • H. Patricia McKenna
Research Article


This paper identifies the need for developing new ways to study curiosity in the context of today’s pervasive technologies and unprecedented information access. Curiosity is defined in this paper in a way which incorporates the concomitant constructs of interest and engagement. A theoretical model for curiosity, interest and engagement in new media technology-pervasive learning environments is advanced, taking into consideration personal, situational and contextual factors as influencing variables. While the path associated with curiosity, interest, and engagement during learning and research has remained essentially the same, how individuals tackle research and information-seeking tasks and factors which sustain such efforts have changed. Learning modalities for promoting this theoretical model are discussed leading to a series of recommendations for future research. This article offers a multi-lens perspective on curiosity and suggests a multi-method research agenda for validating such a perspective.


Curiosity Interest Engagement New media - ambient learning Contextual factors Cyberlearning Personal factors Situational factors Technology-pervasive learning environments Learning modalities Curiosity research 



This research was supported in part by a Science of Learning Catalyst Grant from the National Science Foundation. We would like to recognize the following members of the NSF Science of Learning catalyst research team who contributed to this work: Phyllis Blumenfeld, University of Michigan; Edward Deci, University of Rochester; Jacquelynne Eccles, University of Michigan; Suzanne Hidi, University of Toronto; John Keller, Florida State University; Barbara Koslowski, Cornell University; Tiffany A. Koszalka, Syracuse University; Carol Sansone, University of Utah; and Ann Renninger, Swarthmore College.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn P. Arnone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ruth V. Small
    • 1
  • Sarah A. Chauncey
    • 1
  • H. Patricia McKenna
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse University School of Information StudiesSyracuseUSA

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