Process data from electronic textbooks indicate students' classroom engagement

Frank Reinhold, Anselm Strohmaier, Stefan Hoch, Kristina Reiss, Ricardo Böheim, Tina Seidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Electronic learning environments used in mathematics lessons offer new ways to assess and analyze students' classroom engagement during authentic learning settings. In this study, we investigated students' electronic textbook-use as a measure for their individual engagement during mathematics instruction. To this end, we combined quantity measures (i.e., time on task, text length) and quality measures (i.e., on topic, mathematically valid, mathematical language used). Cluster analysis based on process data of 253 six-graders—who worked on three writing-to-learn exercises during fraction instruction—revealed four different clusters that we ordered hierarchically in terms of engagement, revealing gender differences in favor of girls. Analyses showed negligible differences in prior knowledge between the clusters, yet significant achievement differences in a posttest—with higher engaged clusters reaching higher outcomes. Our approach offers a viable way to unobtrusively measure students' classroom engagement utilizing process data from electronic textbooks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101934
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Cluster analysis
  • Engagement
  • Fractions
  • Process data
  • Unobtrusive measurement


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