University students’ experiences of learning in an online environment in COVID-19 pandemic: A meta-methods research study of perceptions and attitudes of South African students
Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie 1 2 * , Emmanuel O. Ojo 3
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1 University of Cambridge, England
2 University of Johannesburg, South Africa
3 University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
* Corresponding Author


The purpose of this meta-methods study was to examine challenges experienced by students that hinder their ability successfully to learn online during the emergency remote teaching of a South African University that began in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, 4,419 students completed an online questionnaire. Analyses of the open-ended responses via WordStat 8.0.29 topic modeling and VOSviewer 1.6.14 text mining, independently led to the identification of five meta-themes, indicating triangulation of findings. Most notably, mental health issues emerged as an important meta-theme, with 10% of the participants reporting mental health challenges. Implications of these findings are discussed.



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