The Influence of Coronavirus on the Academic Performance of Undergraduate Students in the University of Lagos
Objective of the study
The objectives of the study are;
- To assess the impact of the transition to online learning on the academic performance of undergraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- To identify the specific challenges and barriers faced by undergraduate students in adapting to online learning methods and technologies.
- To examine the effects of disruptions in routine and structure on students’ motivation, engagement, and potential learning gaps.
- To explore the relationship between the mental health and well-being of undergraduate students and their academic performance during the pandemic
REVIEWED OF RELATED LITERATURE
Even though little research has been conducted to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on students’ academic achievement with online teaching during the outbreak of COVID-19, the researcher discovered the most relevant literature for the study. Deplorably, the eruption of COVID-19 had a significant impact on virtually all educational levels in various contexts around the world and has been integrated into instructive settings to provide the feasible requirement for teachers and students (Hashemi & Adu-Gyamfi, 2021). Gonzalez et al. (2020) investigated the outcomes of COVID-19 restrictions on student performance at the higher education level. They conducted experimental field research with 458 students divided into control and experimental groups. Remarkably, their analysis showed that COVID-19 restraint positively influenced student performance and assisted them in improving students’ learning strategies. Likewise, RealyvásquezVargas et al. (2020) investigated whether the environment can affect students’ academic achievement during COVID-19. They revealed that environmental factors influenced students’ academic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Elhadary et al. (2020) investigated the effects of COVID-19 on the academic performance of Turkish science and social science students. Their conclusions revealed that several factors influenced students’ academic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. They showed that anxiety (60.3%), social problems (41.8%), and internet connection (43.2%) all had an inverse effect on both student and teacher motivation. However, students (65.0%) and teachers (48.8%) are pleased with the e-learning platform they use. Similarly, another study was conducted by Maatuk et al. (2022) on the COVID-19 pandemic and e-learning challenges and opportunities from the perspective of students and instructors. The findings indicated that e-learning benefits students and raises their educational excellence. On the other hand, students claim that e-learning is complex and that the most significant barrier is poor internet service quality, which reduces teachers’ workload while increasing students’ tasks. Kuhfeld et al. (2020) revealed that missing school for a prolonged period due to the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to positively influence students’ academic achievement. They asserted that it would take students probably two whole years to compensate for such a loss of educational time and stressed the need for a long-term recovery effort. Even though their study found that students are more likely to return with more critical academic skills and performance variability, one of its significant limitations is that it did not project the role of COVID-19 differently based on race. Correspondingly, Owusu-Fordjour et al. (2020) found how ineffective the online learning system is due to students’ inability to study effectively at home. They also emphasized how parents could not assist their children in accessing online platforms and supervising their studies at home without complications. Moreover, limited Internet access and a lack of technical knowledge about e-learning platforms could have improved students’ academic achievement (OwusuFordjour et al., 2020). Congruently, the UNESCO (2020) report indicated that about 89% of students in sub-Saharan Africa lack home computers, while 82% do not have Internet access. The e-learning platform could not accommodate all students simultaneously due to poor internet connectivity, which affected their academic performance. However, the literature did not investigate student performance differences across courses and how individual characteristics influence student academic achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Henaku (2020) found that online learning, connectivity problem, cost of internet bundle, challenges with the device, household production, and overall perception of e-learning influence students’ overall academic achievement at educational institutions in Ghana. However, the study’s sample size of 10 participants needed to have been increased to generalize. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Lederer et al. (2020) have discovered that college students in the United States face increasing housing and food insecurity, financial hardships, lack of social connectedness and a sense of belonging, uncertainty about the future, and access issues that impede their academic performance and wellbeing. Bono et al. (2020) discovered that the COVID19 outbreak caused depression, which influenced students’ wellbeing and academic achievement. The study, however, did not address racial and socioeconomic status disparities. According to Rwigema (2021), disruptions in learning, decreased access to education and research facilities, lack of digital skills, insufficient infrastructure, poor network connectivity, power outages, inaccessibility, and unavailability have hampered students’ academic performance in Rwanda during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the study ignores the class size and mode of course delivery and how they influenced students’ academic achievement. Furthermore, El-Said (2021) posited that the unplanned and rapid transition from face-to-face to online learning resulted in a better learning experience than expected. According to Tamrat (2021), the pandemic has significantly influenced academic achievement, business operations, and higher education institutions in Ethiopia by reducing their revenue sources, decreasing their employee productivity, and limiting their institutional capacity to cover critical costs such as salaries and rents. Numerous studies have shown how specific sociodemographic characteristics of students, such as age, gender, marital status, level of education, level or year at school, life orientation, and socioeconomic status, have influenced their academic achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic (Aristovnik et al., 2020; Iglesias-Pradas et al., 2021; Olaseni & Olaseni, 2020). Literature on COVID-19 also shows that university lockdowns influence academic achievement and make reading more advantageous (Kuhfeld et al., 2020; Liu et al., 2020). Other scholars argue that economic stress, financial constraints, unemployment, psychological implications, and fear of being infected by the virus will reduce university education students’ academic performance (Education Kuhfeld et al., 2020; Pfefferbaum & North, 2020; Trust, 2020b).
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine the influence of coronavirus on the academic performance of undergraduate students. Selected undergraduate students in the university of Lagos form the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the influence of coronavirus on the academic performance of undergraduate students in the university of Lagos. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the influence of coronavirus on the academic performance of undergraduate students in the university of Lagos
This study was on the influence of coronavirus on the academic performance of undergraduate students in the university of Lagos. Three objectives were raised which included: To assess the impact of the transition to online learning on the academic performance of undergraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic, to identify the specific challenges and barriers faced by undergraduate students in adapting to online learning methods and technologies, to examine the effects of disruptions in routine and structure on students’ motivation, engagement, and potential learning gaps and to explore the relationship between the mental health and well-being of undergraduate students and their academic performance during the pandemic. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected students of University of Lagos. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
In conclusion, the influence of the coronavirus pandemic on the academic performance of undergraduate students in the University of Lagos has been significant and multifaceted. The sudden transition to online learning, disruptions in routine and structure, mental health challenges, financial hardships, health concerns, caregiving responsibilities, and academic integrity issues have all played a role in shaping the academic outcomes of students during this unprecedented time.
The pandemic has presented challenges in adapting to online learning methods and technologies, potentially impacting students’ ability to fully engage with course materials and participate in virtual classes. Disruptions in routine and structure have led to decreased motivation, learning gaps, and reduced access to resources and peer collaboration opportunities. The mental health challenges brought about by the pandemic have had adverse effects on students’ focus, concentration, and overall academic performance. Financial hardships have created additional stressors, impacting students’ ability to afford tuition, access learning materials, and meet their basic needs. Health concerns and caregiving responsibilities have introduced further demands on students’ time and energy, potentially affecting their ability to focus on academic commitments. Additionally, academic integrity challenges associated with remote assessments have raised concerns about fairness and have required alternative evaluation methods.
To address these challenges, it is crucial for the University of Lagos to provide targeted support mechanisms. This may include improving access to reliable internet and technological resources, ensuring the availability of mental health support services, developing financial aid programs, offering flexibility in academic requirements, and providing accommodations for students with caregiving responsibilities. Collaboration between faculty, administrators, and students can facilitate the development of effective strategies to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on students’ academic performance.
It is important to recognize that the influence of the pandemic on undergraduate students’ academic performance is a complex issue that requires ongoing attention and support. By addressing the challenges faced by students and providing the necessary resources, the University of Lagos can help ensure that students continue to receive quality education and support their academic success during and beyond the pandemic
- Enhance Technical Support: Improve technical support services to ensure that students have reliable access to online learning platforms and necessary technological resources. This may include providing assistance with internet connectivity, troubleshooting technical issues, and offering access to computers or devices for students in need.
- Strengthen Mental Health Services: Expand mental health services and resources to support students’ well-being during the pandemic. This may include increasing counseling services, providing virtual support groups, and promoting mental health awareness campaigns. Encourage students to seek help and provide them with information on available resources.
- Develop Financial Aid Programs: Establish or enhance financial aid programs to support students who are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic. This may include offering emergency grants, scholarships, or work-study opportunities to alleviate financial burdens and ensure that students can afford essential educational expenses.
- Flexibility in Academic Requirements: Provide flexibility in academic requirements to accommodate the challenges students are facing. This may involve adjusting deadlines, allowing for alternative assessment methods, or providing opportunities for make-up exams or assignments. Flexible approaches will help alleviate stress and ensure equitable opportunities for all students.
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