ON DEMAND: Exploring Covid-19 Effects on School of Business First-Time Online Learners

A 5- Minute Scholarship of Teaching Lightning Talk Video


  • James Harvey
  • Betsy Tretola




Describing the COVID–19 pandemic as the “new normal” trivializes the challenge for students who suddenly faced the decision either to pause their higher education progress or take their first online course. Choosing to continue their education online meant facing learning in a completely new environment where new levels of self-motivation to learn were wrapped in social isolation. The situation was coupled with a highly distracted family life and likely the first time that they faced the need to share screen time with family members. Our work uses an online survey created by staff of the Stearns Center Division of Digital Learning to survey the effectiveness of strategies as perceived by online learners. Pre- and post- COVID-19 survey results were used to explore differences between first-time online learners prior to the advent of the pandemic to those who had little choice but to take their first online course.

Comparing results from the survey administered in the required introductory Marketing course in Spring 2020 with students taking the same online course in Fall 2020, we can report some of the key aspects of online learning Pre- and Post- COVID–19. The findings inform faculty developing online courses of comparisons related to course navigation, group activities, learning style or adaptability, and the impact on first-time online learners.

Key take-aways:
-Participants will be able to compare first time learner's online experiences related to the COVID-19 disruption.
-Since it is expected that there will be more online classes available going forward, participants can think about the findings of our study in the development of effective learning strategies.
-The evidence from the survey suggests ways and best practices that can be applied in the classes to help students be successful.

Author Biography

James Harvey

School of Business






2021 On Demand Pre-recorded Presentation