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Technology that is based on computers has impacted all aspects of life and business, but there is a lack of understanding about the best ways to use it to increase student engagement, which is a topic that has received a lot of interest in higher education because of its connection to a variety of academic results that are positive. The aim of this article is to provide a thorough analysis of the research conducted over the last five years in relation to the ways that web-conferencing software blogs, wikis, social networks ( Facebook and Twitter) as well as digital games affect student engagement. The findings were prefaced by an extensive overview of engagement indicators and definitions that revealed three kinds of engagement (behavioral emotional, cognitive, and cognitive) which influenced how we classified the articles. Our research suggests.


Digital revolutions have significantly changed our lives, as evident by the widespread use of mobile devices as well as the seamless integration of technology into everyday activities like shopping, reading and getting ways (Anderson and Smith, 2016, Smith & Anderson, 2016; Zickuhr & Raine, 2014). The usage of computers, mobile devices, as well as internet access Internet is at the most advanced level and predicted to grow as technology becomes more readily accessible especially for those living in emerging countries (Poushter, 2016). Additionally, there is an increasing number of people who are dependent on smartphones who rely solely on smartphones to access Internet access (Anderson and Horrigan, 2016) instead of more costly devices like laptops and tablets. The increased accessibility and technological advancement has created new opportunities and challenges to various industries, including those which have prospered through digitizing.

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Student engagement

The interest in student engagement started more than 70 years ago, with Ralph Tyler’s study of the connection between the amount of time students spend on their coursework and the quality of learning (Axelson and Flick, 2011; Kuh, 2009). In the intervening years, research of student engagement has developed and grown significantly, thanks to the seminal work of Pace (1980; 1984) and Astin (1984) on the extent to which quantity and quality of students’ efforts affect learning as well as a myriad of other studies about the environment and personal dispositions that influence the engagement of students (Bakker, Vergel, & Kuntze 2015; Gilboy, Heinerichs, and Pazzaglia (2015); Martin, Goldwasser, and Galentino, 2017; Pellas,). The most widely-known source for student engagement would be the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) which is a tool that measures student participation in different educational activities.

Technology’s influence on the engagement of students

Five technologies were identified post-literature searches (i.e., blogs, web-conferencing, wikis and social networks , and digital games) to incorporate into our analysis, based on the their frequency of appearance in the literature of the last five years. The commonality between the technologies mentioned is that they have potential value in promoting a constructivist approach to learning. This is characterized by the active discovery of knowledge through the reflection on experiences in one’s surroundings, the linking of new information to previous knowledge, and the interaction with other people (Boghossian, 2006; Clements, 2015). Another thing that is common to all of these technologies, with the exception maybe for games that are digital designed to encourage interaction and collaboration with other people. We found very few studies that examined the ways that informational technologies, like video lectures and podcasts affect student engagement.


Web-conferencing software creates an online meeting room that allows users to log in simultaneously and can communicate on a specific subject. Although each software program is different, they all have similar features, such as audio video, audio, or instant messaging for instant communication; whiteboards, screen sharing, and digital pens to present as well as demonstrations, polls as well as tests for testing understanding or encouraging feedback; and breakout rooms that can be used for small-group work (Bower 2011, 2011; Hudson, Knight, & Collins, 2012 Martin, Parker, and Deale, 2012. McBrien, Jones, & Cheng, 2009). In the list of technologies in this review of literature Web-conferencing software is the one that most closely replicates the classroom experience of a face-to-face teacher.


A blog, which is short for Weblog, is an online journal of personal posts that are published online and presented in a chronological order and users (or subscribers) can respond with comments or feedback. To create blogs, you must create content for the entrythat may contain text, hyperlinks, images or audio and then publish the blog’s content on the internet using a blogging software and notify subscribers when new content has been posted. Blogs can be personal and informal in nature , or be used as a formal way of expressing opinions within a particular genre like education or politics (Coghlan and co., 2007). There are many blogging applications that are available for free, and a lot of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) provide blogs that can be easily integrated with the classroom online. The simplicity of blogging has drawn attention from teachers, who make use of blogs as an educational instrument


A wiki is a type of web page that is editable by multiple users simultaneously (Nakamaru, 2012). Wikis are becoming popular in the context of education as a feasible tool for group projects in which group members collaborate to create content (i.e., writings, hyperlinksand images and graphics, media) and track revisions using a comprehensive versioning system (Roussinos and Jimoyiannis, 2013,). The majority of studies on wikis relate to the behavioral aspect of engagement, but there are less research on cognitive engagement , and no studies about emotional involvement. Research on behavioral engagement have mixed findings, with some revealing only a small amount of participation on Wikis after the initial few months of the program (Nakamaru, 2012; Salaber, 2014) and one that shows active participation as evident.

Social networks sites

The term “social networking” refers to “the practice of expanding knowledge by making connections with individuals of similar interests” (Gunawardena and co. 2009, p. 4.). Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as LinkedIn, allow users to share and create digital content with the public or with other users with whom they have connections and also communicate privately via messaging functions. Two of the most well-known social networks in the academic research literature include Twitter and Facebook as well as Twitter (Camus, Hurt, Larson, & Prevost (2016); Manca & Ranieri, 2013) This is in line with the latest data that suggests these sites are also extremely popular with the general public (Greenwood, Perrin, & Duggan, 2016). In the following sections we will examine the ways in which the social media platforms Facebook as well as Twitter affect different kinds of student engagement.

Digital games

Digital gaming is “applications using the characteristics of video and computer games to create engaging and immersive learning experiences for delivery of specified learning goals, outcomes and experiences” (de Freitas 2006, p. 9.). Digital games typically serve two purposes: encouraging the attainment of learning outcomes and making learning enjoyable by offering realistic simulations of scenarios and role-play as well as problem-solving and repetition and drill activities (Boyle and al. (2016); Connolly, Boyle, MacArthur, Hainey, & Boyle, 2012; Scarlet and Ampolos (2013); Whitton, 2011). Additionally, gamified components like leaderboards and digital badges, can be integrated into teaching to increase motivation for the completion of assigned readings or other activities for learning (Armier, Shepherd, & Skrabut in 2016, Hew, Huang, Chu, & Chiu, 2016)