Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Practicing Postures of Growth: A Quasi-Experiment Exploring Student Engagement and Ownership of Learning

Morgan Allison


The American education system has evolved into a competitive learning environment that defines student learning as the ability to pass high-stakes standardized tests and have high grade point averages, but there is a significant gap between K-12 and higher education expectations in what qualifies a student as “smart” and college ready. Literature shows that students who are taught how to take ownership of, engage in, and develop skills to enhance their learning are more likely to be college ready and cultivate deep learning experiences throughout the entirety of their academic career. The purpose of this study is to evaluate if college students can take ownership of and actively engage in their learning when taught various learning skills and mindsets. Using a quantitative quasi-experimental approach, this study was used to evaluate if there was a change in students’ learning when they were taught learning strategies. The results suggest that there was not only a positive impact on a students’ ability to take ownership of their learning when taught various skills, but also in their intentionality, understanding, and mastery of a topic. Developing a student’s ability to own and create deeper learning is a skill that would not only benefit students throughout their entire academic career, but also their entire adult lives.