Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Learning and Teaching: a Case Study from Higher Education

In December 2019, the first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection was identified in Wuhan, China. Since that day, COVID-19 has spread worldwide, affecting 153 million people. Education, as many other sectors, has managed to adapt to the requirements and barriers implied by the impossibility to teach students face-to-face as it was done before. Yet, little is known about the implications of emergency remote teaching (ERT) during the pandemic. This study describes and analyzes the impact of the pandemic on the study patterns of higher education students. The analysis was performed by the integration of three main components: (1) interaction with the learning management system (LMS), (2) Assignment submission rate, and (3) Teachers' perspective. Several variables were created to analyze the study patterns, clicks on different LMS components, usage during the day, week and part of the term, the time span of interaction with the LMS, and grade categories. The results showed significant differences in study patterns depending on the year of study, and the variables reflecting the effect of teachers' changes in the course structure are identified. This study outlines the first insights of higher education's new normality, providing important implications for supporting teachers in creating academic material that adequately addresses students' particular needs depending on their year of study, changes in study pattern, and distribution of time and activity through the term.


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