by Jewel Caruso
Greg Wolniak, associate professor, and Sarah Burman, doctoral candidate, report the impacts of COVID-19-related campus closures on students' sense of belonging and academic self in their article, "COVID-19 Disruptions: Evaluating the Early Impacts of Campus." Published in the Journal of College Student Development, the article capitalizes on a pre-existing longitudinal survey that tracks student perceptions that began in 2017 and continued in 2020.
Wolniak and Burman studied responses to the potential psychosocial effects of campus closures. They focused specifically on student self-efficacy (or academic self-confidence) and academic motivation (or willingness to work hard and enjoy challenges). The research team also investigated the correlation between students' sense of campus belonging and academic self-efficacy and motivation.
Their findings indicated that for academic self-efficacy, the campus closures "served to increase students' confidence in their academic abilities and contributions." However, they found a considerable decline in the developmental influence of students' sense of campus belonging as a direct result of the closures. In contrast, the closures had a "negative but only marginally significant" impact on students' academic motivation.
Please visit the Project Muse website to view the complete article and its results.