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  1. Abstract

    Student-centered instruction allows students to take ownership over their learning in the classroom. However, these settings do not always promote productive engagement. Using discourse analysis, student engagement can be analyzed based on how they are interacting with each other while completing in-class group activities. Previous analyses of student engagement in science settings have used methods that do not capture the intricacies of student group interactions such as the flow of conversation and nature of student utterances outside of argumentation or reasoning. However, these features are important to accurately assess student engagement. This study proposes a tiered analytical framework and visualization scheme for analyzing group discussion patterns that allow for a detailed analysis of student discourse moves while discussing scientific topics. This framework allows a researcher to see the flow of an entire conversation within a single schematic. The Student Interaction Discourse Moves framework can be used to extend studies using discourse analysis to determine how student groups work through problems.

  2. Several studies have highlighted the positive effects that active learning may have on student engagement and performance. However, the influence of active learning strategies is mediated by several factors, including the nature of the learning environment and the cognitive level of in-class tasks. These factors can affect different dimensions of student engagement such as the nature of social processing in student groups, how knowledge is used and elaborated upon by students during in-class tasks, and the amount of student participation in group activities. In this study involving four universities in the US, we explored the association between these different dimensions of student engagement and the cognitive level of assigned tasks in five distinct general chemistry learning environments where students were engaged in group activities in diverse ways. Our analysis revealed a significant association between task level and student engagement. Retrieval tasks often led to a significantly higher number of instances of no interaction between students and individualistic work, and a lower number of knowledge construction and collaborative episodes with full student participation. Analysis tasks, on the other hand, were significantly linked to more instances of knowledge construction and collaboration with full group participation. Tasks at the comprehension level were distinctivemore »in their association with more instances of knowledge application and multiple types of social processing. The results of our study suggest that other factors such as the nature of the curriculum, task timing, and class setting may also affect student engagement during group work.« less