Analogues of engagement: Assessing tertiary student engagement in contemporary face-to-face and blended learning contexts

Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Supporting student engagement and success across different types of educational delivery is of growing importance within the higher education sector. The digitalisation of the sector has required institutions to fundamentally reconsider their strategic approaches to the tertiary experience. Given that educational delivery is progressively more multi-modal, it is essential to understand how students engage during the contemporary tertiary experience as well as how the dimensions of engagement support student success. This study examines two antecedents to engagement, namely expectations and involvement, four dimensions of student engagement, namely behavioural, affective, social and cognitive engagement, and five student and institutional success outcomes, namely institutional reputation, student well-being, transformative learning, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Drawing on a sample of 952 tertiary students it employs a structural equation modelling approach to comparatively test how engagement determines success within face-to-face and blended modes of delivery. Behavioural engagement was found to strongly determine students’ well-being, self-efficacy and self-esteem for students enrolled in blended modes. Affective engagement determined institutional reputation and transformative learning within blended modes. Counterintuitively, cognitive engagement was not a prominent driver of student or institutional success. This study advocates the need for a more holistic approach to managing blended deliveries which is sensitive to the multidimensional nature of student engagement and its impact on student and institutional success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1012
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education Research & Development
Issue number4
Early online date1 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2022


  • blended learning
  • covid
  • face-to-face
  • measurement
  • online
  • Student engagement
  • student experience
  • student success


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