Student Perceptions of Instructional Formats during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Susan Davies


The COVID-19 pandemic forced many American public schools to switch from in-person instruction to online instruction with little preparation time, but the effects of this change on the K-12 students involved is largely unexplored. This study explored the perceptions of seventh and eighth grade students at a public high school in Southwest Ohio who experienced an instructional format change during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven adolescents were interviewed using semi-structured interview questions aligned with the constructivist paradigm. Transcripts were manually coded and organized into four themes: connections with others, access to resources, learning styles and quality, and mental health concerns. Most participants preferred in-person learning to online learning, citing learning styles or attention concerns. Most participants experienced positive effects on relationships with family members and negative effects on relationships with classmates and teachers. Most participants experienced heightened stress, anxiety, or frustration due to online school. Implications of further findings are discussed.


Education, Educational Evaluation, Educational Technology, Mental Health, Personal Relationships, Public Health, Secondary Education, Social Psychology, Teacher Education

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2023, Author