This study set out to probe students’ thoughts regarding what engaged them to learn, what did not, and what they envisage an engaging future higher education to be in relation to the status quo. A journal writing activity based on two open questions was designed. Written responses were obtained from 17 bachelor students enrolled onto several technology study programmes. The qualitative data were catalogued and analysed from perspectives of technology, organisation, and pedagogy. The results showed that students’ thoughts focus on the importance of active learning, with insights drawn from technology-related learning tools, organisational concerns such as physical environments and counselling support, pedagogical issues including motivation, lecture, and feedback. Possible interventional measures for effective engagement were discussed.
The use of diary writing as a tool for language practice and learning enhancement in an EFL classroom is the main topic investigated in this paper. The students participating in the study are English major female students at the College of Basic Education, who would graduate to be English teachers in primary schools. 51 students in two “Advanced Writing” classes were asked to write their diaries during the semester. At the end of the semester they were given a questionnaire with 19 statements and 4 open-ended questions. The researchers found that the majority of students enjoyed writing a diary, and believed that their language and writing techniques have improved. They have also reflected pleasant emotional effects such as removing stress, keeping memories and strengthening the student-teacher relationship. The researchers believe that writing a diary is very useful to EFL learners in terms of language learning and enforcing positive energy in the class.