Book cover of "Online, Open, and Equitable Education: Lessons from Teaching and Learning during the Global Pandemic" Edited by Nancy Turner, Nick Baker, David J. Hornsby, Aline Germain-Rutherford, David Graham, and Brad Wuetherick

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Coming summer 2024

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This chapter investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international students in Nova Scotia, particularly their transition to online education and its effects on their mental and physical health. It highlights the challenges these students face, including increased stress, communication barriers, and lack of social integration, which are exacerbated by the rapid shift to online learning environments. Using a mixed-methods approach, including a survey and focus group interviews, the study reveals that international students struggle with isolation, engaging with course materials, and maintaining relationships with peers and instructors. The findings emphasize the need for better support systems tailored to the unique needs of international students to help them navigate online learning effectively and maintain their well-being during such transitions.

Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.36284/celelon.oa7.7.

Discussion Questions

  • According to the study, how did the transition to online learning specifically impact the mental health of international students?
  • What were the main communication challenges faced by international students in the online learning environment, and how did these challenges affect their educational experience?
  • How did the lack of social interaction and community feeling in online settings impact the students’ ability to integrate culturally and socially?
  • What specific strategies can institutions implement to improve the online learning experience for international students?
  • Considering the findings, what role does institutional support play in the academic success and well-being of international students during abrupt transitions to online education?
  • How might the experiences of international students in Nova Scotia differ from those in your part of the world, and what factors contribute to these differences?