Author: Kemp, Andrew, Dart, Sarah, Palmer, Edward
Type of paper: Symposium
One of the key challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the growth in staff and students using virtual classrooms for learning and teaching. Zoom has been one of the major software platforms used as a virtual classroom and it is important to understand the nature of student engagement within this platform. To this end, 169 first year psychology students from an Australian university were surveyed. The survey consisted of Likert-scale type questions aligned to a previously developed taxonomy of technology acceptance constructs, and four open questions. Exploratory factor analysis of Likert responses and thematic analysis of the open responses were performed. Seven themes emerged from thematic analysis which aligned with both instructional and non-instructional dimensions of the taxonomy, and seven latent factors emerged from the exploratory factor analysis, aligning with the instructional dimensions. In addition, a theme of ‘social comfort & well-being’ emerged from the thematic analysis. These themes are reported along with exemplar student responses which inform recommendations for educators to improve student engagement and satisfaction when using the Zoom platform for teaching.