Course Engagement

Engagement (noun): 

  • An arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time and place
  • Emotional involvement or commitment

(via Merriam-Webster)

For the purposes of our class, I am using engagement as a metric for measuring the way we interact with course materials and activities. Some synonyms for engagement that you have probably heard include ‘participation’ and ‘ethos’, and both are similar premises. However, I have chosen the word ‘engagement’ because definitionally it achieves a more equitable interaction between students and instructors. While establishing a professional ethos and participating in a course are valuable skills, they often reinforce traditional power structures that keep things between instructors and students inherently unbalanced and therefore not conducive to effective and beneficial learning. Engagement is not only something I define with the expectation that students perform and exemplify certain behaviors in the classroom, but that I reciprocate with my own levels of investment in the course as your instructor.

I see engagement as a contract between instructor and student, something that we mutually agree upon as a group and as individuals to ensure all participants get what they want and need from a classroom environment and class activities. As stated in the definition at the top of this page, engagement means being present, both physically and mentally, at a specific time and place, and having a commitment to an activity or circumstance.

For specific assignment-based work surrounding Engagement, see EH 419: Multimedia Writing for documents.