TitelFacilitating student engagement through educational technology in higher education: A systematic review in the field of arts and humanities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBedenlier, S, Bond, M, Buntins, K, Zawacki-Richter, O, Kerres, M
JournalAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology,
ISSN Number2321 – 2462

Understanding how educational technology can enhance student engagement is becoming increasingly necessary in higher education, and particularly so in arts and humanities, given the communicative nature of courses. This narrative systematic review synthesises 42 peer-reviewed arts and humanities articles published between 2007-2016, indexed in four international databases. The results indicate that the majority of research has been undertaken in language learning, predominantly in East Asian countries, with limited grounding of research in theory. This review found that educational technology supports student engagement, with behavioural engagement by far the most prevalent dimension. Affective engagement was the lowest observed dimension, with affective disengagement the most prevalent negative dimension. Blogs, mobile learning, and assessment tools were the most effective at promoting engagement. However, caution and education in how to use technology are needed, as any use not underpinned by effective and informed pedagogy can also lead to students feeling overwhelmed and disengaging from learning. Further research is needed on online collaboration, as well as international courses that offer cross-cultural opportunities for language use, and the increased use of qualitative methods is also advised.

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