When do online education technologies enhance student engagement? A case of distance education at University of Nebraska at Omaha

Given online instruction in university programs is now commonplace, it is more vital to understand how key aspects of online courses influence student engagement. To build on the literature in this area, this study investigates the extent to which technological tools utilized in online settings enhance student engagement in public administration courses. The particular emphasis in the study is to explore the role of technology in both student–instructor and student–student interaction in online classroom settings. The results indicate that students tend to engage in online classes more intensively when they frequently interact with peer students using technologies. In addition, the results reveal that the thoughtful application of a limited number of tools may be as or more effective than using a wide variety of technology in an online setting.