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Tuesday, March 2 • 3:10pm - 3:25pm
Talk Session 4: Managing students’ anxiety in online active learning classrooms

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Active learning classrooms are a rising trend in academia, especially to teach STEM subjects. However, active learning is traditionally campus-based, which means that students and instructors only interact in physical environments such as classrooms. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, schools worldwide rapidly moved to offer online-only classes to practice social distancing. For universities that had adopted active learning, this often meant moving to video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom—a sudden change potentially impacting students’ anxiety and engagement in the classroom. Although significant research describes factors that contribute to students’ experiences in lecture-based classrooms, understanding anxiety and communication apprehension in online or traditional active-learning classrooms is more limited. Online active-learning classrooms (OALC), in particular, may present unique challenges.

This significant shift from campus-based to online higher-education must prompt further research and dialogue to investigate student anxiety and engagement in OALC and support professors and students during this transition. This presentation maps probable factors influencing student anxiety in OALC using experiences from the Minerva Schools at KGI, a four-year university employing online active learning pedagogy for all courses. Insights from student surveys and course evaluations, coupled with the firsthand experience, provide a basis to explore guidelines for professors or universities that want to move their active-learning curriculum online in a manner that aims to mitigate students’ anxiety.

avatar for Linh Doan

Linh Doan

Minerva Schools at KGI
I am a senior student majoring in Social Sciences and Business. I was a research assistant for different universities, including Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Minerva Schools, and Duksung Women's University (Korea). My research focuses on the connection between students... Read More →
avatar for Katie McAllister

Katie McAllister

Associate Professor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Minerva
I am the Head of the College of Social Sciences and an associate professor of complex systems and cognitive neuroscience at the Minerva Schools at KGI. My recent book is Beyond the Lecture: Interacting with Students and Shaping the Classroom Dynamic.

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:10pm - 3:25pm CST