This summer, Cengage Learning surveyed instructors and students about their thoughts on engagement and motivation. We also sought their insights on a variety of other topics, such as critical thinking, online learning, and college success. We received responses from hundreds of instructors and thousands of students around the United States, and we were intrigued, surprised, and delighted by what they had to say. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing these insights with you.

To begin, we wanted to gauge students’ overall level of engagement in their classes. We asked: In general, do you find your courses interesting? To examine the question from another perspective, we asked instructors if they believed students found their courses engaging. The results may surprise you!

Student interest and engagement: what did they say?

Over four thousand students and seven hundred instructors responded to these two questions. And the answer: a resounding yes; 97% of the responding students said that they find their college courses interesting.  This is great news: students want to be engaged in the learning process—and, to a large extent, they are. This strong response also confirms instructors’ perceptions that students are, by and large, interested in the course material: intriguingly, the same percentage (97%) of instructors stated that they believe students find their courses engaging.

Class interest and engagement - student and instructor responses

Though this is an encouraging signal, we’re sure that you want additional ideas to keep students engaged in your courses.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing insights that will give you a glimpse into students’ perspectives on what engages and motivates students. In addition, we’ll share instructors’ perspectives on topics related to student engagement. We’ll also offer specific activities and resources that will support your goals of increasing engagement, motivation, and deeper learning in your courses.


Do you see the level of student interest and engagement as reflected in these statistics? Share your insights in the comments below.