Research Topic

Learning in times of COVID-19: Students’, Families’, and Educators’ Perspectives

About this Research Topic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and sudden impact on many areas of life; work, leisure time and family alike. These changes have also affected educational processes in formal and informal learning environments. Public institutions such as childcare settings, schools, universities and further education providers ceased onsite teaching and moved to distance learning - or closed down completely. In the same way, organizations offering sports and cultural activities had to shut down. The sudden lock-down required quick adjustments on behalf of all stakeholders and teaching and learning settings changed substantially. Even after lock-down conditions have been lifted in many countries, fundamental changes to the day-to-day reality of teaching and learning, work and home life remain in the absence of a cure or vaccine.

These sudden changes have taken a toll on schools, families, and society in general. Many parents have had to work from home while taking care of their children and acting as home tutors. Educators for all age groups from early childhood to further education have had to switch from traditional in-class settings to various forms of distance education, and develop methods to stay in touch with parents and students. Often, this has required adopting new educational strategies for digital teaching (synchronous and asynchronous), which is still an emerging phenomenon in many educational settings. For students, the lack of structured in-class learning settings may have required more self-regulation and self-motivation to learn with less support. Furthermore, as some countries have moved to reopen education institutions while trying to maintain social distancing, teachers and students have experienced a variety of changes in their education settings within a short period of time (e.g. changes to physical contact hours, group sizes, and access to physical spaces or materials).

Given these challenges for educators, students, and parents, it is worthwhile to investigate how the pandemic has affected teaching and learning from multiple perspectives across different institutions and age groups. This Research Topic will examine how the pandemic has affected learning in formal and informal settings, considering educational and psychological perspectives.

Potential research questions for contributions to the current Research Topic may cover (but are not limited to):

- Perceptions of students regarding how learning environments have changed
- Adoption of novel learning environments including ICT and emerging disparities
- Teacher-student interaction and feedback processes during home schooling
- Application of assessment strategies (i.e., formative and summative assessments) of student competencies
- Socio-emotional development, mental health and well-being during the lock-down
- Familial coping with changes to family life, work, and learning during the pandemic
- Characteristics of children and families and how these relate to their ability to cope with the sudden changes
- Methodological challenges in researching learning and educational processes during the pandemic

Contributions are not restricted to specific age groups, learning settings, cultural regions, or methodological approaches. Innovative approaches of teaching and learning practices that demonstrate solutions to unique challenges arising from the pandemic will be considered as long as they are embedded in an evaluation design.


Keywords: COVID-19, distance learning, home learning, student-teacher relationships, digital teaching and learning, learning


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and sudden impact on many areas of life; work, leisure time and family alike. These changes have also affected educational processes in formal and informal learning environments. Public institutions such as childcare settings, schools, universities and further education providers ceased onsite teaching and moved to distance learning - or closed down completely. In the same way, organizations offering sports and cultural activities had to shut down. The sudden lock-down required quick adjustments on behalf of all stakeholders and teaching and learning settings changed substantially. Even after lock-down conditions have been lifted in many countries, fundamental changes to the day-to-day reality of teaching and learning, work and home life remain in the absence of a cure or vaccine.

These sudden changes have taken a toll on schools, families, and society in general. Many parents have had to work from home while taking care of their children and acting as home tutors. Educators for all age groups from early childhood to further education have had to switch from traditional in-class settings to various forms of distance education, and develop methods to stay in touch with parents and students. Often, this has required adopting new educational strategies for digital teaching (synchronous and asynchronous), which is still an emerging phenomenon in many educational settings. For students, the lack of structured in-class learning settings may have required more self-regulation and self-motivation to learn with less support. Furthermore, as some countries have moved to reopen education institutions while trying to maintain social distancing, teachers and students have experienced a variety of changes in their education settings within a short period of time (e.g. changes to physical contact hours, group sizes, and access to physical spaces or materials).

Given these challenges for educators, students, and parents, it is worthwhile to investigate how the pandemic has affected teaching and learning from multiple perspectives across different institutions and age groups. This Research Topic will examine how the pandemic has affected learning in formal and informal settings, considering educational and psychological perspectives.

Potential research questions for contributions to the current Research Topic may cover (but are not limited to):

- Perceptions of students regarding how learning environments have changed
- Adoption of novel learning environments including ICT and emerging disparities
- Teacher-student interaction and feedback processes during home schooling
- Application of assessment strategies (i.e., formative and summative assessments) of student competencies
- Socio-emotional development, mental health and well-being during the lock-down
- Familial coping with changes to family life, work, and learning during the pandemic
- Characteristics of children and families and how these relate to their ability to cope with the sudden changes
- Methodological challenges in researching learning and educational processes during the pandemic

Contributions are not restricted to specific age groups, learning settings, cultural regions, or methodological approaches. Innovative approaches of teaching and learning practices that demonstrate solutions to unique challenges arising from the pandemic will be considered as long as they are embedded in an evaluation design.


Keywords: COVID-19, distance learning, home learning, student-teacher relationships, digital teaching and learning, learning


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Abstract
29 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Abstract
29 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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