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Title: Deconstructing Engagement: Rethinking Involvement in Learning
Authors: Whitton, Nicola
Moseley, Alex
First Published: 17-Nov-2014
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Simulation and Gaming, 45 (4/5), 2014, pp. 433-449
Abstract: Background. The discourse of learner engagement has become prevalent in formal education research and practice in recent years. However, the term has multiple meanings and various constructions, particularly in the context of games and learning, where the coming together of two different disciplinary constructs creates ambiguity and tensions. Aim. The notions of engagement with education and engagement with games are not necessarily mutually compatible, and this article aims to explore this. Method. This article starts by exploring the use of the term by deconstructing the idea of engagement, and highlighting issues with the way in which people use it in different contexts. Next, it discusses practical and theoretical limitations of the concept, such as the assumed link between engagement and learning and measurement of engagement. Results. The core contribution of the article is a synthesis of the complex literature in this field presented as a model of engagement with learning based on six ways of constructing engagement: participation, attention, captivation, passion, affiliation, and incorporation. Conclusion. The article concludes by discussing the benefits and possible uses of this model, and highlighting necessary further research to forward the field of games and learning in this area.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1046878114554755
eISSN: 1552-826X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2014, Sage Publications. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Museum Studies

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