Are Students with LD Impacted by Online Learning Similarly to their Peers? An Investigation from an Expectancy Value Theory Lens
Keywords:Postsecondary Education, Learning Disabilities, Expectancy, Value, Cost, Satisfaction, Academic Achievement, Burnout
The increased use of online learning in postsecondary education has documented negative impacts for students that may be particularly pronounced for students with learning disabilities (LD). We collected data from 224 postsecondary students with (n = 44) and without LD during the Fall 2020 semester when nearly all post-secondary courses in Canada were being offered exclusively online. Using an Expectancy-Value Theory lens, we examined how students’ expectancy for success, value ascribed to an academic task, and potential costs were related to their satisfaction, academic achievement, and burnout. Moreover, we wanted to determine how students rated courses they completed before the switch to online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic to their current courses in terms of expectancy, value, and cost. When considering courses completed after the shift to online learning to ones before, students with LD identified that they had lower expectancies to do well, and perceived their courses to have higher costs than their peers without LD. Moreover, for students with LD, academic achievement was associated with higher expectancy and cost, while burnout was also associated with higher cost, but lower expectancy. Ways to support students with LD during online learning are highlighted.
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