Predicting how a disrupted semester during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted student learning

Kaitlin Riegel, Tanya Evans
2022 STEM Education  
<p style='text-indent:20px;'>Tertiary education faced unprecedented disruption resulting from COVID-19 driven lockdowns around the world, leaving educators with little understanding of how the pandemic and consequential shift to online environments would impact students′ learning. Utilising the theoretical framework of a student′s <i>affective field</i>, this study aimed to investigate how student achievement, achievement-related affect, and self-perceived well-being contributed to predicting
more » ... w their learning was impacted. Questionnaire responses and academic achievement measures from students (<i>N</i> = 208) in a New Zealand second-year, tertiary mathematics course were analysed. Despite a return to in-person teaching after eliminating community-transmission of the virus, students reported larger impacts of the disruption to semester on both their learning and well-being at the end of the term than during the lockdown. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that gender, prior achievement, performance on low-stakes assessment, as well as exam-related self-efficacy and hope, made significant, independent contributions to explaining students′ perceived learning impact. Even when controlling for achievement and achievement-related affect, students′ perceived impact to their well-being made a significant and substantial contribution to the impact on their learning. The findings provide motivation to further investigate whether attempts to address student achievement-related affect can help mitigate the effects of major life disruptions on studying. We suggest that frequent, low-stakes assessment can identify students who are more likely to report greater negative impacts to their learning. We finally conclude that student well-being is paramount to how students perceive their own learning, even when controlling for actual measures of and about their achievement.</p>
doi:10.3934/steme.2022010 fatcat:7xvvafkgsvferktjn6tw37o3rm