Impacts of Modality Change and Preventative Measures as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students’ Satisfaction and Engagement

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Jack Troutt


A number of research studies have been performed with regards to the distinction and impact of modality differences between face-to-face and distance education modalities. However, with the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 in the spring of 2020, primary education to graduate institutions were forced to change modality in order to reduce the spread of the disease. A vast number of students, as a result, were forced to transition from traditional face-to-face courses to on-line distance education courses, with very little warning. This study analyzed what impacts those changes have to the students that are studying for degrees as part of the Aviation Sciences Department at a University within the State of Utah by utilizing a three part survey that included a demographic question section, a series of Likert Statements and three open ended questions. Particular emphasis was given to try and understand the impact on student satisfaction and student engagement as a result of the changes that were required as a result of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic. Descriptive statistical findings of this study, along with a qualitative trend analysis of the responses to the open ended questions, showed a drop in perceived engagement among the sample population to distance education modalities. In addition, the study showed a trend of negative student perception of the precautions taken as a result of the pandemic, along with instructor preparation to the modality changes. The study found that while there was strong student perception of satisfaction within the Likert statements, that a strong degree of frustration was exhibited in the open ended questions.

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