Whereas the influence of engagement on learning outcomes has been extensively investigated, this has not been studied for undergraduate students of sports science major field. The objective of this study was to measure the extent of student engagement and learning outcomes and further examine their relationships in the context of a sports science program in the Ethiopian public higher education system.
The study used a cross-sectional survey design collecting quantitative data from a random sample (n=83) of volunteered undergraduate sports science students from four public universities in Ethiopia. The student engagement theories were used as guiding frameworks.
Findings reveal above-average levels of engagement and learning outcome scores and low to moderate relations between the scores of engagement and outcomes measured. Both independently and interdependently, the student engagement factors reveal statistically significant relationships with all the measured outcomes, adjusted R2 ranging between 17 and 50 percent (p < 0.001).
Because of disciplinary focus on sports science and small sample size, generalization is limited in scope.
Higher education teachers and administrators who work with undergraduates of sports science major should take into consideration the contexts and the relevance of student engagement for greater learning outcomes, especially student-teacher relationships. Hence, mandating instructional interventions to promote engagement through authentic faculty development and increasing academic rigor should be serious concerns.
Undergraduate students of sports science major field have received little attention in the higher education research literature, and discipline-based education research is a growing field of inquiry. This study addresses this gap.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the University of Queensland, Australia, for the research funding obtained from the PhD research grant of the corresponding author, and the administrative support from Jimma University, Ethiopia. The authors also wish to extend their appreciation to all sports science students who participated in the survey, for dedicating their precious time and energy in providing valuable evidence in this research.Funding: This work was supported by the School of Education, the University of Queensland, Australia [grant number: PhD Research- 2011-034].
Tadesse, T. and Edo, B. (2020), "The relationships between student engagement and learning outcome in the undergraduate sports science program in Ethiopia", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-01-2019-0017Download as .RIS
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