Levels of Student Engagement

Published On: April 21st, 2016·By ·

Do you know the levels of student engagement?

Have you ever wondered about the various levels of student engagement? You won't have to wonder any more thanks to an infographic I found on Twitter. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

Alex Corbitt posted an infographic on his Twitter explaining the different levels of student engagement in the classroom. The infographic sites Philip Schlechty's student engagement model regarding the five ways “students respond or adapt to school-related tasks and activities.” These five levels, as you can see on the infographic posted below, are engagement, strategic compliance, ritual compliance, retreatism, and rebellion.

levels of student engagement

Starting at the top is engagement. A student at this level believes the assignment has value and meaning without needing any extra outcomes or results to find that value. Strategic compliance is the opposite. While the student finds value in the task, it revolves mostly around an outcome, such as a letter grade, rather than believing the task has any inherent value. Students who work to avoid negative consequences and to do the least amount of necessary work to pass are at the ritual compliance level. When a student is not engaging with the activity, but are not disrupting the class or doing another task either, they are at the retreatism level. Rebellion is when a student either disrupts the classroom or does other tasks during class time.

So, if one of your students is struggling, try to identify what stage she might be in. While, in the perfect world, every student is at engagement level, that's unlikely. Instead of pushing them right to the top and overwhelming them, try and take your students to the top level step-by-step unless you think the student is ready for such a big jump.

What do you think of these levels of engagement? Do you think there's a missing step? How do you think knowing these steps can help you get your students to focus and get more out of their learning?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com, the best site for free professional teacher development . She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to editor@simplek12.com.

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