What is Engagement and How Do We Measure It? Toward a Domain Independent Definition and Scale

AbstractAn engaging experience draws in and holds our attention. Engagement is a critical phenomenon of interest in a variety of disciplines and application domains and has been shown to lead to positive outcomes, such as enhanced learning, task performance, or job satisfaction. However, existing measures of engagement are typically specific to the domain in which the research is conducted. This paper builds on the synergies of various disciplines and proposes a discipline-independent definition of engagement and measurement scale. In this paper, we distinguished between the three temporal levels of engagement in terms of the expected length of the engagement (task/activity, initiative, and continuous). We further explored the differences in the conceptualization of engagement, viz. affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement. We then offered a comprehensive definition of engagement. We finally developed a measurement scale that can be used across domains and contexts which we derived by iteratively refining the items in this scale through a series of five data samples to arrive at the final scale. Our results provide evidence for the scale’s validity in two domains (online learning and work engagement).


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