Complex Learning Difficulties And Disabilities Research Project

How to use it - Engagement profile & scale

The links on the right provide step-by-step instructions on how to use both the profile and scale. There are also examples to help you when completing your first profile and scale. You might find it useful to look at all examples to help you generate ideas for your student.


Engagement ladder

This can be used before the profile and scale. The whole class ladder is intended for use to look at the various levels of engagement and reflect where each student is in terms of their engagement for learning within a learning environment. This can be in or out of the classroom. You should enter the student’s names, in each box, where you feel it is appropriate. This will indicate which students you will need to work with first.

For the individual student ladder, you can then select a student from the class ladder, preferably one who is partly engaged, emerging and fleeting, or is demonstrating no focus regarding learning.

The students name should be completed at the top of the page followed by the subject area’s alongside the level that the student is at, with regard to lesson/ activity/ subject/ task. For example, if the student is fully engaged in numeracy you would place him/her at the top of the ladder. If the student is demonstrating emerging and fleeting engagement in art you would write art next to this level and so on. Once you have completed the ladder, it will illustrate the area you should focus on in engagement for learning.


Engagement profile

The aim of the Engagement Profile is to provide a snapshot of how the student demonstrates their engagement.

Considering when their student is highly engaged, staff should fill in each circle with how that student demonstrates each indicator of engagement, making it a very personalised document. This could be through actions, behaviour, expression, gesture and body language.

Engagement scale

The purpose of the scale is to charts the students’ journey towards meaningful engagement and sustained learning, through a process of staff reflecting on students' learning and their own professional practice.

Using the profile as a benchmark for high engagement, staff focus on a target in an area which the student currently demonstrates low engagement. Staff then complete regular scales to assess the student's engagement and highlight ideas for strategies to use next time by breaking the session down into 7 indicators of engagement. Over time, completed scales can show the effectiveness of strategies implemented and the progress students have made, if successful.

Staff have reported that use of the engagement tools has allowed them structured time to consider the individual student and their learning in a more focused and creative way.