Can Personality Traits Modulate Student Engagement With Learning And Their Attitude To Employability?

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Student engagement in Higher Education is the focus of considerable research, particularly in terms of predicting educational achievement and retention. Less research has examined the predictors of engagement. The current study (students N = 117, staff N = 35) explores the predictive role of personality in a multidimensional model of engagement. Given recent tensions between the importance of employability and the time academics have to deliver this, a second objective was to examine the correlation between student and staff perceptions of employability. Results found no differences between student and staff attitudes towards employability and further revealed that students' attitudes became less positive over time. Differential patterns of trait relations were found for components of engagement, though agreeableness and conscientiousness were consistent predictors. Findings of individual differences are encouraging in terms of integrating different practices so that different personalities can be engaged. Finally, the decrease in students' attitudes towards engagement and employability highlights important areas for future investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-358
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Early online date1 Sept 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sept 2016


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