Emergency remote teaching (ERT) and blended learning have emerged in higher education since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there have been few comparisons between them to assess whether blended learning affords better learning environments than ERT. Therefore, this study used a between-subject model to compare engagement among 147 students receiving blended learning and 137 receiving ERT at a local university. We administered student engagement and teaching presence surveys and conducted focus group student interviews. Students’ responses to the two surveys were compared using independent sample t tests, and correlation analysis was used to look for associations between engagement and teaching presence. The student interviews were coded to triangulate the results of the teaching presence survey and identify factors influencing students’ engagement. Overall, the students were highly engaged and perceived a strong teaching presence in both learning modes. However, the students who received ERT were significantly more engaged than the students who received blended learning. The two groups did not differ in their perceptions of teaching presence. Eight categories of influential factors were identified. The implications of the findings are discussed.
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- Blended learning
- Emergency remote teaching
- Student engagement
- Teaching presence