Measuring Student Engagement in the Online Course: The Online Student Engagement Scale (OSE)


  • Marcia D Dixson Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne



Online learning, student engagement, measuring student engagement, social constructivist


Abstract Student engagement is critical to student learning, especially in the online environment, where students can often feel isolated and disconnected. Therefore, teachers and researchers need to be able to measure student engagement. This study provides validation of the Online Student Engagement scale (OSE) by correlating student self-reports of engagement (via the OSE) with tracking data of student behaviors from an online course management system. It hypothesized that reported student engagement on the OSE would be significantly correlated with two types of student behaviors: observational learning behaviors (i.e., reading e-mails, reading discussion posts, viewing content lectures and documents) and application learning behaviors (posting to forums, writing e-mails, taking quizzes). The OSE was significantly and positively correlated with application learning behaviors. Results are discussed along with potential uses of the OSE by researchers and online instructors.

Author Biography

Marcia D Dixson, Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne

Marcia D. Dixson is Associate Professor and Chair of Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She is past director of the campus Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching and began teaching online courses a decade ago. She enjoys the challenges that online teaching brings. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching (especially online teaching) and family communication.






Faculty Attitudes and Student Engagement