The university teaching during the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown: cognitive and motivational factors promoting the sense of community in university online courses.
Restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 led to the closure of schools and university. To meet learning outcomes, most of academic courses were abruptly adapted to a digital format, and different online deliveries were given in at-home educational setting in absence of physical social interactions with teachers and peers. As the sense of community has demonstrated to improve student persistence in courses, emergency remote learning could impact engagement of students in online learning.
Here, we examined three dimensions of sense of community (i.e., Membership, Fulfilment of needs and goals achievement and Mutual influence of the individuals) in Synchronous, Asynchronous and Lab classes and analyzed the concurrent contribute of cognitive and motivational characteristics of students involved.
We found higher scores of Fulfilment of needs and goals achievement in students attending a Synchronous class, and higher Mutual influence of the individuals scores in students attending the Lab class. Moreover, results revealed a significant role of group membership, intrinsic motivation, and problem-solving self-efficacy in explaining the sense of community dimensions across groups.
In conclusion, our results outlined the importance of considering both motivational and self-regulation variables in different kind of university online class in fostering the sense of community, that is well-known to promote students’ persistence and engagement.
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