Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Despite efforts by the CDC and other federal and state agencies to prevent COVID-19 from becoming a major public health crisis in the United States, by the middle of March 2020, governments at the federal, state, and local levels had no choice but to institute drastic, multifaceted measures to contain the COVID-19 virus and disease that had already spread across most parts of the country. The State of Pennsylvania (PA) was one of the earliest states to take measures to protect its residents from COVID-19, which included partial or complete shutdown of schools and nonessential businesses and agencies across the state. West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU) and several other higher institutions of education in PA quickly followed the PA Governor’s measures by closing their campuses and switching courses to modalities other than the traditional face-to-face teaching modality. WCU, in particular, switched all pre-COVID-19 courses that were being offered in the traditional, face-to-face format to remote instruction formats, by using a Zoom-facilitated synchronous or a completely asynchronous online instruction, in place of face-to-face sessions, during the campus shutdown. This necessary, overnight change in teaching modality, as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, may have presented different degrees of difficulty or flexibility that might have affected WCU students’ academic success. The purpose of this proposed research was to understand the experiences of WCU students in relation to the change in teaching modality from face-to-face and/or hybrid teaching formats to remote instruction formats during the COVID-19 impacted period of the Spring 2020 semester – mid-March 2020 through the end of the semester. Specifically, the research sought to understand the impacts of the remote instruction formats on the academic success of WCU students. We evaluated data from a voluntary survey completed by WCU students who experienced the remote instruction formats during the COVID-19 impacted period of the Spring 2020 semester. The research design was mixed-methods and employed both quantitative and qualitative analyses of responses to the phenomenological survey questions (Creswell & Clark, 2017; Paley, 2016). The survey questions were designed to generate both quantitative and qualitative data about the student’s educational experiences during the pandemic. The main research questions centered around how the student’s overall experiences during an international crisis affected their academic success. We used Dedoose to analyze and Qualtrics to analyze the survey results. All students (and recent graduates will be included in this research), we hypothesized that students showed adaptive resilience such as protective resilience during this time period (Maddi, 2016).