Enhanced or diminished attitudes: University students’ agency
Whilst hybrid learning gives students the choice about how they engage in their learning, institutions need to adopt a broad conceptualization of student support that scaffolds learning in these challenging times.Hartnett, Brown, Forbes, Gedera, & Datt, (2023)
In this paper, we address the gap in understanding of how students experienced the rapid and unplanned shift to remote online teaching because of the pandemic. Based on survey responses received from 422 students across all eight New Zealand universities in 2020, we use two-step cluster and chi square analysis to explore students’ attitude changes toward study during lockdown. Whilst the dominant experience was one of less motivation, focus, confidence, and control over their learning (73%) there was a small but notable group who reported enhanced attitudes (27%). Both groups experienced challenges while learning online but students in the diminished attitudes group were more likely to experience lack of routine, stress, anxiety, isolation, distraction, and difficulty balancing study/life demands as challenges. In addition, few students from the diminished attitudes group knew where to go for help. The most prominent benefits identified by both groups were being able to continue their studies, not having to travel and the flexibility of learning online. Beneficial teaching approaches were similar in both groups.
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