InSync Training’s Technical Director Charles Dye Researches Learner Engagement, Earns Ph.D

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Charles Dye, lead researcher and Technical Director of InSync Training, earns Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology for his cutting-edge research into learner engagement.

Learner engagement is much more than simply counting the number of times someone raises their hand – it's about how they interact and the consequences of that interaction and how the environment changes as a result.

On January 2, 2020, Charles Dye officially completed requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology degree, with a concentration in Cognition, Instructional and Learning Technology.

In December of 2019, Charles presented and defended his dissertation titled "A Qualitative and Quantitative Inquiry into the Learner Engagement Construct." Based on years of research, this work innovatively applied a situated cognition theoretical framework to understand the impact of learning environments on adult learner experience to develop a model of learner engagement.

Previously, research into learner engagement simplified the concept, excluding the influence of factors like educational technology and interaction of the learner within the learning environment. Furthermore, no one had explored, “How do things like instructional strategies and diverse environments collectively affect participant behaviors and attitudes during a learning experience?”

Charles’ research moved beyond simple behavioral evidence to better understand environmental interaction as part of learner engagement. The qualitative portion of the research uncovered the existence of three engagement dimensions: Affective Learner Engagement, Cognitive Learner Engagement, and Situated Learner Engagement. To confirm this three-dimensional learner engagement hypothesis, Charles completed an Exploratory Factor Analysis through a 300-participant sample.

In speaking about the relevance of his work to the training industry at large, Charles explained:

"Extant research in engagement has focused entirely on the learner and (sometimes) the observable indicia of participation to the exclusion of the entirety of the learning environment. Learner engagement is much more than simply counting the number of times someone raises their hand – it's about how they interact and the consequences of that interaction and how the environment changes as a result – the discussion becomes more sophisticated, a consensus is reached, disagreement erupts, etc. This research allows us to understand learner engagement in a much more measurable and meaningful way, with the intent that we next figure out what engagement effect there is on learner outcome."

The outcomes of this research will enable InSync Training to improve upon its already cutting-edge practices in designing, delivering, supporting, and implementing corporate blended learning initiatives. By more clearly understanding the impact of learning environments on learner engagement, InSync’s expert practitioners can continue to exceed expectations and further improve organizational outcomes.

The global InSync Training team applauds the important work of colleague Dr. Charles Dye and looks forward to continuing to drive digital engagement in the virtual classroom thanks to an improved knowledge of the nature of the modern learner experience.

To learn more about how InSync Training defines virtual and blended learning best practices, visit: http://www.InSyncTraining.com

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Katelind Hays
InSync Training
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