Study looks to put engaged-learning to test

Paul Mayne // Western NewsHealth Studies professor Aleksandra Zecevic, along with fellow Health Studies professor Tara Mantler, are exploring the impact of engaged-learning courses on the skill development of their students and how, if at all, it helps prepare them for their future careers.

Despite the presence of engaged learning in classrooms for almost a decade, neither professors nor administrators truly know the impact of it has on post-graduation career paths – until now.

Western School of Health Studies professors Aleksandra Zecevic and Tara Mantler are exploring the impact of engaged-learning courses on the skill development of their students and how, if at all, it helps prepare them for their future careers.

Engaged learning is the process in which students actively participate in defining learning goals by being involved in the decision-making of a course from the beginning.

“Engaged learning entices students to think critically about learning through the application of knowledge and using these transferable skills in contexts beyond the university,” said Zecevic, who will look at both engaged-learning and non-engaged-learning courses as they relate to degree outcomes, skills attained and benefits after graduation.

Sixty Health Studies students will be part of this project that Zecevic hopes will start the conversation within the School of Health Studies, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Community Engaged Learning and Western International about how to measure the impact of engaged learning courses.

“This is a relatively new pedagogical approach in teaching and, as such, there is no consensus in the field in terms of measurement of the associated impact,” she said. “We are creating a foundation of knowledge that can be used and refined in future projects to measure the impact of engaged learning beyond the classroom.”

Paul Mayne // Western NewsHealth Studies professor Tara Mantler, along with fellow Health Studies professor Aleksandra Zecevic, are exploring the impact of engaged-learning courses on the skill development of their students and how, if at all, it helps prepare them for their future careers.