One of the goals at the top of the list for both parents and teachers is to have their students engaged. But what does it mean to be engaged? The definition of ‘workplace engagement’ is the extent to which they do more than what is required. Another way to look at the problem is to define its units of measure. According to most education systems, and besides asking the students point-blank “Are you engaged?”, the current measures for most education systems are simply…

  • The number of times students attend class (i.e attendance)
  • The number of times students use their online account (i.e. again, attendance)

But to be engaged is more than being able to measure it. It’s about a student’s emotions and motivations, the unique set of feelings that drives the individual. Being engaged means being positively emotional, positively driven, and positively “sucked in”. So, this begs the question, “Are students engaged when they are forced to learn?”. Besides dictatorship being a less than an ideal state for learning, it is not only common, but standard practice in today’s education system. And the “attendance” unit of measure that is so heavily relied upon, sees this as a good thing. That is, “attendance is increased, therefore failure is decreased!”

Although there is a reasonable correlation between attendance and failure, there is no such correlation between attendance and engagement. Mosaix looks at this problem a little differently. It sees engagement as the “tune of each student’s behaviour”. A tune made up of multiple inter-relating measures, all of which are more granular than “attendance”. These include…

  • The time between viewing lesson content and the first response, per lesson, per student
  • The time between each successive response, per lesson, per student
  • The number of responses, per lesson, per student
  • The ratio of positive responses to negative responses, per lesson, per student
  • The accuracy of correct responses, per lesson, per student
  • The correctness of responses, per lesson, per student
  • The type of responses, per lesson, per student
  • … and many more

Not only can Mosaix measure engagement accurately from 0% to 100%, Mosaix also displays this measure as an easy to read “speed dial” on the teacher’s dashboard (see below). And the teacher can see it changing during class and adjust their delivery accordingly.

Even though this feature is novel and incredibly useful, it still does not explain how to create engaged students. When boiled down to its essence, student engagement seems to always follow these 3 steps:

  1. Develop a general understanding by receiving a basic overview or problem statement
  2. Develop deep but narrow insights by exploring relevance to themselves or someone else
  3. Develop mastery by the deliberate practice of exploring other people’s insights and relevance

Where it gets interesting is that this is not news to almost all education institutions.  So why has it not been adopted more widely? Because conventional education institutions face 2 somewhat insurmountable hurdles:

  1. Learning (by law) must adhere to a fixed curriculum
  2. Teachers generally do not have the capacity to tailor learning to the interests and abilities of each student

And this is where Mosaix can help. Mosaix provides the mechanism for students to interact anonymously and safely with each other, learning from each other, guided by a fixed curriculum. Because the teacher is able to accurately monitor (and be alerted to) abnormal student understanding and engagement, the teacher can focus their efforts on giving guidance to the students that are unable to get guidance from the group. Something almost impossible without a tool like Mosaix.

Still need convincing? Try it for yourself by doing the Enter the Genius course in Mosaix. This course will be made available starting on the 4 Aug 2018 for people successfully securing specific Kickstarter pledges. But if you cannot wait, then you can still do the course using the prototype version of Mosaix by registering at www.mosaix.com.au. Even though the prototype has limited functionality, you will get a better understanding of the concepts described in this section by actually doing it.

Find out why the following world leaders in education desperately want reform…

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ow9Tc9GjwU&t=1s>

Source: https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud#t-15186

“When done well, online approaches can actively engage and challenge students. Technology can now provide immediate, nuanced feedback on student progress, drill down in areas of misunderstanding, tailor curriculum to personal needs, and create new ways for students to interact with their peers and teachers – all factors known to drive learning effectiveness.”

Source: Norton, Sonnermann and McGannon, (p20, 2013)
https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/186_online_higher_education.pdf