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Student Engagement 101: Measuring Student Engagement

classroom management in-person teaching mindset online learning teacher life tech in the classroom Dec 28, 2021

So, now that we have a better understanding of student engagement from last week's post, we can start talking about how to measure engagement in our classrooms. 

So, how do I know if my lessons are engaging already?

Well, some easy, less quantitative ways to tell if students are engaged are through observation. Keep an eye on who is participating and who isn’t. Who is raising their hand to answer questions or share experiences? This shows a great deal of behavioral and cognitive engagement. 

Look at who isn’t participating, but when they are called on, still know the answers. This shows a level of cognitive engagement but a lack of emotional and behavioral engagement. 

Think about who chats you up and shares aspects of their lives with you but isn’t turning in any work. (I totally have a student like this right now. She is emotionally engaged but lacks cognitive and behavioral engagement. We are going to work on that.)

How can I tell if student engagement is improving?

Beyond observation, there are some great tools out there to assess student engagement, but my favorite is to just ask students themselves! 

Each quarter, I survey my students to see how their experience is in my class and with the content I teach. It’s a great way to not only see what is going well and what students consider engaging, but also what needs to be fixed. 

I also recently found an AMAZING student engagement conversation/assessment that not only allows you to assess engagement but also to have a fun conversation with your students. They even have a tool to assess family engagement and teacher engagement! How cool is that!?

This sounds like a heck-a-lot of work. 

Again, not a question, but we are all thinking it right?

I get that we have so SO much going on and we are trying to do all of the things. The lessons we provide to students, however, should be the #1 focus. Grading and emails home to parents can wait. (If you are drowning in grading, check out my podcast episode all about reducing what you assess)

Also, taking the time to add engagement now, is going to pay off in years to come when you already have the engaging lessons created. We will talk more about specifically creating a lesson with engagement in mind, but for now, give the simple engagement strategies a try.

I created a generic choice board that I can edit real quick to use for all sorts of assignments and editing is super quick, so when I feel like the engagement is lacking, I can always whip that out for students too. Add in an element of choice (behavioral and cognitive engagement) using the free choice board template linked here. 


Resources & References

Schindler, Laura. “Fig. 1 Conceptual Framework of Types and Indicators of Student Engagement.” ResearchGate, 1 Dec. 2017,

“Student Engagement Definition.” The Glossary of Education Reform, 13 Dec. 2013,

“The Five Simple Methods That Help Teachers Measure Student Engagement.” Poll Everywhere Blog, 23 June 2020,

“The Framework for Teaching.” The Danielson Group, Accessed 19 Dec. 2021.

“Tools for Schools.” Communities In Schools, Accessed 19 Dec. 2021.