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International Journal of Engineering Education ; 38(5):1629-1642, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2102185


In mid spring 2020, an unprecedented Covid-19 induced switch of learning mode, from face-to-face instruction to online learning, disrupted not only teachers, but also students, both cognitively and emotionally. This study seeks to understand how students felt about their capabilities to succeed in the online learning environment (OLE) and which online learning features (OLF), offered to them by their instructors, positively, negatively, or neutrally impacted their learning. Three research questions guided this study: (1) What online learning features did students perceive as contributing positively, negatively, or neutrally to their learning and how were these perceived contributions related to students' demographics?;(2) How did students feel about their capabilities to succeed in the OLE?;and (3) How did students' feelings change during their online learning experiences and how did these changes relate to students' gender, academic performance, and prior online experience? An online survey was designed and face-validated to solicit information about students' perceptions about online learning features and feelings about their capabilities to succeed in the OLE. The 13-item survey consisted of 10 multiple-choice/multiple-answer and 3 open-ended questions. One thousand two hundred and thirty-seven (N = 1237) students taking 27 different courses, from 6 different institutions participated in the study. Presentation of the qualitative analyses of open-ended survey responses is outside the scope of this paper. Findings suggest that the three most frequent OLFs provided to students were electronic homework submission, recorded video lectures, and electronic exams. While video lectures, homework electronics submission, and downloadable documents or files were reported to be the top three OLFs that contributed positively to students' learning, poor internet performance, online exams, and projects were the top three OLFs that were reported to have contributed negatively to student learning. Changes in students' feelings during the online learning experience were also reported.