Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Cara Rickenberg




This action research project studied the impact specific engagement strategies had on student academic performance. We conducted this project in two ninthgrade English classes in a suburban high school and two eighthgrade Spanish classes in a suburban middle school both of which were located in a midwestern metropolitan area. During the study, students participated in a variety of engagement strategies aimed at promoting academic excellence: 1) challenge and competition, 2) cooperation and connection, 3) curiosity and controversy, and 4) choice and creativity. The data provided by course grades, student feedback, student observations, and teacher reflections showed students were more engaged after implementing specific strategies. Students enjoyed their classes more, paid more attention, tried harder, wanted to learn more, and found the class more meaningful. Future research regarding specific strategies, student profiles, time of day, subject content, and difficulty of the curriculum is recommended to provide additional insight on learning.

Keywords: engagement, instructional strategies, student achievement

Included in

Education Commons