Mapping pedagogical touchpoints: Exploring online student engagement and course design

Tualaulelei, Eseta ORCID: and Burke, Katie ORCID: and Fanshawe, Melissa ORCID: and Cameron, Cathy (2021) Mapping pedagogical touchpoints: Exploring online student engagement and course design. Active Learning in Higher Education. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1469-7874


Online learning has been widely adopted in higher education but there is a need to better understand the nature of student engagement with online courses. For example, there are questions about whether students engage with courses as educators intend and what features of online courses engage students to enhance learning. Bringing together student and educator perspectives, this article reports on a study that identified ‘pedagogical touchpoints’ – opportunities within online courses for student engagement – to ascertain whether a better understanding of these could improve online course design and student engagement. Data were collected across three undergraduate online courses. Data analysis produced three key findings: mapping pedagogical touchpoints against dimensions of engagement reveals patterns that may inform enhanced course design, students’ engagement with pedagogical touchpoints varies according to their learning needs and desires, and mapping pedagogical touchpoints can inform course design at both conceptual and practical levels. Discussion of the findings highlights that purposeful design of online courses, including strategic planning for pedagogical touchpoints, can maximise the potential for student engagement and consequent learning.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 41076
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Academic Division - Office for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (1 Jan 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 04:47
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2021 04:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: online course design, online learners, pedagogical touchpoints, student engagement, undergraduate
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390409 Learning sciences
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160302 Pedagogy
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only