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Tracking student engagement in and out of the classroom (Columbus State University-2023)

Strategy/Project Name: 
Tracking student engagement in and out of the classroom
Momentum Area: 
Change Management
Strategy/Project Description: 

Determine observational, emotional, and cognitive engagement in and out of the classroom

Summary of Activities: 

In class engagement (tracked with an app):

  • Observe how students participate in the classroom
  • Monitor participation in group activities
  • Gamify participation, including use of special apps
  • Ask questions
  • Lead discussion
  • Use pop quizzes

Out of class engagement (tracked with scanner)

  • Monitor participation in outside activities related to class requirements

Monitor participation in extracurricular activities unrelated to class requirements

Activity Status: 
Evaluation/Assessment plan: 

Evaluation Plan and measures: Depends on which engagement is measured: in or out of the classroom.

KPIs: None indicated at this time

Baseline measure (for each KPI): 0

Current/most recent data (for each KPI): None indicated at this time

Goal or targets: Use Mindset survey after 30, 45, and 60 hours to measure Mindset progress.

Time period/duration: First year, sample freshmen only; second year, sample freshmen and sophomores; third year, sample freshmen through juniors.

Progress and Adjustments: 


  • Scanners are consistently used by Student Affairs programming and event areas; they are stored within 3rd party platform (Engage).
  • Summer 2023 UITS researched and identified a new attendance scanner product (from Honeywell). The cost is approximately $992 each.
  • Student Affairs has purchased 4 scanners.


Currently, some activities use attendance sheets, scanning of ID cards, or proof of attendance by memorabilia (for example, a program).

Plan for the Year Ahead: 

Tracking Engagement

  • In progress with completion date of January 2024 to set up a mode to upload attendance scanner data direct to Banner with the goal of connecting to existing campus data dashboards and to streamline process to scale.

Initiating discussion with Academics to include in tracking process and evaluate potential to scale across campus outside Student Affairs.

Challenges and Support: 


  • Scanners are costly (at nearly $1K each)
  • Apps are usually low or no cost, but extracting the data can be costly.
  • Need to connect Engagement to Mindset. Does more involved engagement result in a greater sense of belonging?

System Support:

Perhaps the System Office could allocate special funds for this worthy effort?

Primary Contact: 
Gina Sheeks, Vice President, Student Affairs
Melissa Dempsey, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Engagement
Melissa Young, Director, CSU ADVISE