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Student Perceptions of the Institutional Response to an Untimely COVID-Driven Semester Disruption

Bryan M. Dewsbury 1 and Zoe Mermin 2
1. University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
2. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Abstract—COVID19 caused institutions of higher education in the United States to rapidly shift from mostly Face-to-Face (F2F) to remote learning in the middle of Spring 2020. We deployed a survey to 91 students from six unique campuses inquiring about their perception of how the university handled the transition both in terms of the logistics and care for their person. The survey also asked about students’ concerns both during the transition process and for the future semesters. Our respondents indicated general disappointment with the ways in which the transition process was handled, and identified academic concerns and the severance of relationships as the key things they were concerned about for future semesters. Students’ responses suggest that social connection and sense of belonging are critical predictors that determine the degree to which they engage their respective institutions. Though our survey questions were focused on concerns related to the pandemic, the responses still serve as a timely reminder for institutions to greater consider the ways in which they may need to focus on the non-cognitive aspects of the higher education experience. 
Index Terms—COVID19, social connection, higher education, F2F, remote learning

Cite: Bryan M. Dewsbury and Zoe Mermin, "Student Perceptions of the Institutional Response to an Untimely COVID-Driven Semester Disruption," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 166-174, June 2021. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.7.2.166-174

Copyright © 2021 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.