Distance education amid a pandemic: Which psycho-demographic variables affect students in higher education?
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The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rapid transition from face-to-face to distance learning. The problems caused by this rapid transition are combined with the negative psychological outcomes of the pandemic, leading to numerous problems and difficulties in the teaching and learning processes. The recentness of these issues and developments requires detailed investigation as to how they affect distance learning. This study aims to investigate the role of psycho-demographic variables in the motivation and attendance of higher education students in distance education within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this descriptive study, we collected data from 1494 Turkish university students via an online survey. Quantitative data were analysed using correlation analysis, t test, one-way ANOVA, multiple linear regression analysis, and structural equation modelling. Stress, anxiety, depression and intolerance of uncertainty were correlated negatively with distance learning motivation and frequency of distance learning attendance. While students who attended distance learning only synchronously joined the courses more frequently, the motivation of those who joined the courses sometimes synchronously and sometimes asynchronously was higher. The strength of the relationships between intolerance of uncertainty and distance learning motivation was significantly increased via anxiety and depression. Findings highlight the need for analysis of psycho-demographic variables while designing and implementing distance education programmes. Psychological variables including stress, anxiety and depression are related to motivation and attendance during distance education. While using both synchronous and asynchronous distance learning enhances motivation, synchronous learning increases attendance.
SourceJournal of Computer Assisted Learning