Differentiating Four Levels Of Engagement In Learning: The ICAP Hypothesis

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Michelene (Micki) Chi, Professor, Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

Professor Chi will describe the ICAP hypothesis, embedded in a framework that differentiates overt engagement activities. The framework suggests that any learning activity can be classified into one of four distinct categories based on students’ overt behaviors or mode of engagement: Interactive or dialoguing, Constructive or generating, Active or selecting, and Passive or receiving. Based on this framework, the ICAP hypothesis predicts that as students become more cognitively engaged with the learning material, from passive to active to constructive to interactive, their learning will increase. Empirical support for the ICAP hypothesis will be provided by numerous studies in the literature, by studies undertaken in our lab, as well as in classrooms whose teachers we have trained. Limitations of the hypothesis, caveats to its generalizability, and benefits of the hypothesis for research and instructional design will also be discussed. Our immediate effort is the development of an online module to train teachers how to design and improve classroom activities that move students from one level of engagement to a higher level of engagement. If time permits, I will also describe briefly our findings about learning from observing videos of tutorial dialogues.