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Online Learning Journal


The coronavirus pandemic severely disrupted college students’ learning experiences. A growing body of research is attempting to examine the impact of faculty efforts to support students during this difficult time. However, different outcomes measures might lead to varying inferences about the impact of instructors’ adaptations to their pedagogy. We explore this potential for varying inferences through a mixed-methods study of 11 courses taught at a Hispanic-Serving Institution in the United States in Spring 2020. First, using qualitative analytical methods, we identify five types of instructional adaptations made by faculty. Second, we use quantitative methods to uncover associations between these instructional adaptations and a variety of course outcome measures. While all of these instructional adaptations were perceived as beneficial by students, only one--ensuring access to instructor time--was significantly correlated with students’ reported motivational and personal gains from their coursework. However, only a different adaptation—ensuring access to class resources—was significantly correlated with reduced equity gaps measured through course grades. We discuss the implications of these findings for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.


Published in Online Learning Journal by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). Available via doi: 10.24059/olj.v27i3.3214.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.