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PDSA and Increasing student engagement

PDSA and Increasing student engagement

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will apply the PDSA cycle of continuous improvement to increase student engagement and performance in the classroom.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe, and in our video lesson today, I will be covering the topic of PDSA and increasing student engagement. As we learn about this topic, we will work toward several learning objectives, and together, we'll use the following questions to guide our learning in this lesson-- how can you use a PDSA and technology to increase student achievement, and how can you measure student engagement?

In a previous lesson, we looked at the cycle of continuous improvement and the PDSA cycle. We examined the four stages, P-- plan, D-- do, S-- study, and A-- act. Let's review each stage by using an example of PDSA.

First the P or plan, what is the current problem that needs to be addressed? Here, our middle school level math students had low levels of engagement.

Once the problem that we face is determined, we move to D or do. What improvement strategies will be put into place to correct the problem? As a teacher, we decide to do several things in our classroom. First, we will begin using flipped learning. Students will watch videos that we create as well as explore other homework assignments and materials online as homework.

We will also use the one-on-one model in the classroom where students will each have a device to access during our class time. And finally, we'll plan inquiry-based activities to use for our class time. Activities will be directly related to the homework that was completed at home, and students will work in groups together while we, the teacher, facilitate learning and give students one-on-one time.

After the implementations are planned, we will move to S or study, where we later reflect. We need to determine what information and data was to be used to reflect on? What is working or not working? We will use student feedback, our own reflection and observations as well as maybe peer observations, and assessment data that we received from assessment strategies along the way.

The fourth stage or act will vary based on the data that we received. What is the data telling us? If things are working, we will continue what is working, later reflecting once again. If not, we will ask what specifically is not working and rework our plan to continue this cycle.

Let's look at the University of Minnesota's Check and Connect Student Engagement Inventory. This is research-based and includes six sub scales under two main categories, cognitive and affective. It utilizes the PDSA cycle. This tool can be used to measure a student's level of learning and engagement in the school setting, and it looks beyond just academics as far as how it examines engagement.

35 items on six sub scales were used in the following areas-- for cognitive engagement, control and relevance of school work, future goals and aspirations, and extrinsic motivation were all categories.

For affective engagement, teacher-student relationships, peer support for learning, and family support for learning were all subcategories. And again, each of these together combined have 35 items that were used to measure students' learning and engagement in the school setting. This is a great tool for you to check out and you can find the website listed above here for you to research this tool yourself.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We used the questions, how can you use a PDSA and technology to increase student achievement, as well as how can you measure student engagement? And we discussed the cycle of continuous improvement, specifically the PDSA cycle where the cycle of Plan, Do, Study, and Act can be used to help plan, implement, and reflect on goals for continuous improvement in your classroom.

We went through a sample of this cycle and incorporated technology into the components of this cycle.

We also looked at a tool from the University of Minnesota. Their Check and Connect Student Engagement Inventory. This tool is research-based, and it includes sub scales such as control and relevance of schoolwork, future goals and aspirations, extrinsic motivation, teacher and student relationships, peer support for learning, and family support for learning. Remember, this tool can be a useful resource in developing and measuring student achievement using the PDSA cycle of improvement.

Now that you're familiar with these ideas, let's reflect. Think about an issue that you have seen regarding student engagement and/or student performance. Can you walk through this model and apply all four steps of the PDSA?

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, PDSA and increasing student engagement. I hope you found value in this video lesson and the tools that I gave you to use PDSAs and measure student engagement in your classroom.

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on “PDSA and Increasing Student Engagement”


(00:00- 00:23) Intro/Objectives

(00:24- 02:23) Example of a PDSA

(02:24- 03:32) Measuring Student Engagement

(03:33- 04:34) Recap  

(04:35- 05:17) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Module 5: Improvement Cycles

This comprehensive web page from the University of North Carolina offers a learning module for teachers to follow as they learn how to implement cycles of inquiry and improvement.