Preservice teachers’ accuracy in measuring child engagement using a digitised momentary time sampling measure

Publication Name

Learning and Motivation


Engagement has been identified as an important predictor of student outcomes; therefore, teachers’ ability to accurately and objectively measure student engagement is essential and can assist teachers to make instructional decisions based on data rather than perception. The efficacy of training preservice teachers to observe engagement, using a previously validated observational tool that was digitised for this research, was investigated. Twenty-eight preservice teachers (PSTs) completed workshops on the use of this digitised momentary time sampling measure of child engagement as part of their teacher education program. Video clips of children in a range of activities were used to provide practice in using the measure. The correlation between PST estimation of engaged time and PST momentary time sampling data was near zero, indicating their informal estimates were inconsistent with their systematic observations. When using the engagement measure, PSTs demonstrated a mean agreement of 91.9% with reference coding for child engaged and nonengaged behaviour. PSTs rated the workshops and the utility of the measure highly. More importantly, findings indicate that the workshops were successful in training PSTs to use the engagement measure accurately, a necessary skill for data-informed practice in special and general education.

Open Access Status

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

Edith Cowan University



Link to publisher version (DOI)