Engagement as the starting point for immersive learning
In an educational context, engagement is measured by the extent to which students are motivated to actively participate in the classroom. It is a prerequisite to good learning, as even the best curriculum can only produce desirable outcomes if students are engaged.
Research has shown a number of ways in which student engagement can be boosted. One is to make lessons more ‘game-like’ by building in incentives. This points to the importance of interactive, learner-centred approaches. Compared to traditional lecture-style teaching, much higher levels of engagement can be attained since students tend to regard their studies as rewarding and relevant to real life. The Case Method is an example of such approaches, which requires students to roleplay protagonists facing a difficult situation, and contemplate the best options.
Furthermore, engagement increases when students feel they are part of the school community. A diverse programme of extra-curricular activities and other team-building initiatives, such as volunteering, help build strong bonds between students and teachers as well as among fellow students. Boarding schools have a natural advantage in this respect, as students’ experience of communal living on campus often brings about a real sense of community.