Increasing college student engagement with digital media and a dedicated space: An exploratory approach

Delia Perez-Lozano, Luis Rocha-Lona

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    Nowadays, college students have spent most—if not all—of their lives seeing the Internet as something natural. They are immersed in a digital environment and can’t conceive of the world without it. But there is a huge difference between making use of these digital technologies in a personal manner and using them in the context of a business. The purpose of this study was to analyse if giving students a dedicated space (laboratory) equipped with appropriate digital media has an impact on their engagement, considering engagement in its multidimensional forms that include behavioural, emotional, and cognitive aspects. A research group of 21 students was used, and participants were assigned to one of six teams that each worked with a different local NGO. To create the appropriate environment, an improvised lab was created in a 13 × 16-foot office using different elements to make the students feel comfortable. After assessment using qualitative and quantitative methods, the results indicated greater engagement in all three components that was sustained for the entire semester. Behavioural engagement involved commitment and dedication to activities; emotional engagement involved energy levels and joy felt in activities; and cognitive engagement encompassed concentration and weekday work hours. the results also showed that engagement in every dimension was greater in this course than in a traditional one. the educational environment was measured as a mixture of physical environment, emotional climate, and intellectual climate, with the last element considered the most important. This research shows that giving college students working with a challenging subject a dedicated space to work in has a strong impact on engagement levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education - Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL2019 – Volume 1
    EditorsMichael E. Auer, Hanno Hortsch, Panarit Sethakul
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)9783030402730
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
    Event22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2019 - Bangkok, Thailand
    Duration: 25 Sep 201927 Sep 2019

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
    Volume1134 AISC
    ISSN (Print)2194-5357
    ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


    Conference22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2019


    • Digital media
    • Educational innovation
    • Engagement
    • Higher education
    • Laboratory
    • Learning experience
    • Learning space
    • Social media

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