Exploring student perceptions of their learning adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 28 2022
The change from onsite learning to online can cause students to lose motivation and efficiency in their learning. Having self-regulation skills and the use of preferred low or high-impact strategies can also affect student learning. It is crucial to understand these factors and support students by helping them with self-regulation skills and deciding on study strategies that work best for them. —Nika Espinosa
This study primarily focuses on the shelter-in-place adaptations of students in a doctor of chiropractic program. Forty-nine percent of the 105 students enrolled participated in the data collection. The researchers focused on primary study strategies, technology use, motivation and efficacy, study space and time, metacognitive planning, monitoring, and evaluating. Part of the study required the participants to give sufficient evidence.
Primary Study Strategy
When it comes to study strategies, the most frequently chosen study strategy by the students was repeated reading (low-impact) and completing practice problems (high-impact). A majority of the respondents (82%) did say that they didn’t use the same strategies during shelter-in-place that they used when they were onsite learning. Low-impact strategies such as highlighting and memorizing were frequently chosen by the respondents, whereas high-impact strategies were not as preferred. The survey also showed that the chosen primary strategies that participants used were low-impact. “These data imply that although a student selects a high- or low-impact study strategy from a list, it may not reflect the true study approach but rather indicate the 1st step in the approach.“
A majority of the students (86%) reported that there wasn’t much difference in their use of technology when the switch to shelter-in learning was made. Twelve out of the fifty-two students did say their adaptations to technology were more significant.
“Sixty-one percent (31/51) of respondents indicated a range in level of challenge and adaptability in finding a new study space.” Part of the challenges included not having a separate work-home space, noise, and distractions, and a lack of social interaction to support learning. “Eight respondents who selected low-impact study strategies and 4 respondents who selected high-impact study strategies as their primary strategy described positive adaptations.”
“Ninety-four percent (48/52) of respondents reported that they did not use the same amount of time studying during shelter-in-place orders as in prior academic terms in the program.” The biggest influencers were motivation and efficiency. Students’ motivation had gone down due to reasons such as pandemic stressors, lack of social interaction, and the structural shift in teaching and learning. Some reported that the work-life balance had become difficult, and a few students mentioned only finding accountability in deadlines and that their motivation was only to pass. Some students however became more efficient in their studies when they found ways to manage their own time.
Planning as a Metacognitive Strategy
Eighteen of the participants said that the most common plan they used during shelter-in learning was to create task lists and a study space to structure their learning. All of the participants that provided evidence also said that in order to set new goals, they needed to use high-impact strategies, regardless of if their primary strategy was low or high impact. “Forty-five percent (14/31) of respondents who selected a low-impact study strategy as their primary strategy described a positive or solutions-oriented plan moving forward, while 71% (15/21) of respondents who selected a high-impact study strategy as their primary strategy described a positive or solutions-oriented plan moving forward.” Those who did not provide sufficient evidence described the challenges of remote learning.
Monitoring as a Metacognitive Strategy
A majority of the participants provided evidence for monitoring their learning. Some of them however mentioned decreased confidence in studying due to either pandemic stressors or the lack of hands-on experience. A student was quoted that they relied very much on the school structure for learning. Uncertainty about the impact of their study habits was mentioned by six of the participants.
Evaluating as a Metacognitive Strategy
Seventy-seven percent of the participants expressed that high-impact strategies were more effective, but the rest described resorting to low-impact strategies due to pandemic stressors.
Williams, C. A., Nordeen, J., Browne, C., & Marshall, B. (2022). Exploring student perceptions of their learning adaptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Chiropractic Education. https://doi.org/10.7899/jce-21-11
Summary by: Nika Espinosa – Nika believes that personalized learning is at the heart of special education and strives to collaborate with educators in providing a holistic, personalized approach to supporting all learners through the MARIO Framework.