REPORTING AN IN-CLASS EXERCISE ON MASTER STUDENT’S SELF-EVALUATION OF THE COVID-19 EXPERIENCE

L. Correia Vital1, C. Herinckx2, C. Ricoveri2, A. Rignanese2, C. Sabatine1, H. Samma2, M. Zakharova1, M. Gallarza 3

1University of Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
2Bologna University (ITALY)
3University of Valencia (SPAIN)
This paper contains an in-class exercise made during the COVID-19 crisis in the subject Marketing
from Work, Organizational, and Personnel Psychology (WOP-P), a Master Program at University of Valéncia (Spain). Similar exercise (accounting for 20% of the final grade) is normally conducted in class, with a guest speaker.
Students were asked to critically discuss a contemporary Consumer Behavior: “Higher Education Consumption”. The exercise took three phases
FIRST (week -2): Students had to read two papers on Consumer Behavior and Value and a word document from one of the teacher 's papers with a review of Measurement of Value in Higher Education
SECOND (week -1) An online Tutorial session was held with a PPT explaining the Intra-variable of Value Measurement (Value dimensions) and inter-variable perspective (the Value-Satisfaction-Loyalty chain)
THIRD (Week 1) Students work on their own: based on their knowledge (inductively, as master students involved into the COVID-19 crisis) and deductively, as experts in Psychology, judging the psychological aspects at a play for students during suffering a change form offline to online classes) they were asked to critically discuss the psychological underpinnings of the behavior of “students as Customers”
FOURTH: (Week 2) The students uploaded on due time 2 documents:
A. a review of Value in HE scales adapted to the Covid-19 situation (the dimensions chosen were Functional, Emotional and Social ones, and the wording was slightly changed).
B. Rationale for consideration of 3 variables out of their understanding, to act as moderators in the V-S-L chain
a) Psychological Capital as a positive psychological state that includes self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience
b) Social Support, that is related with the current social situation and support from the social surroundings of the student
c) Mental Overload as due to the e-learning’s environmental nature, students tend to be under more distractions than during a conventional frontal class, which is designed to improve the possibility of the learning process

The learning outcome of this exercise is twofold:
- Theoretically, students were able to bridge their knowledge as psychologists on the factors affecting consumer behavior (internal and external factors) with the literature on Marketing (Consumer Value).
- In practice, the students have elaborated an instrument (an ad-hoc questionnaire) to evaluate the specific behavior of being a COVID-19 student (that is, switching form offline to online in an unpredicted and disruptive way). The questionnaire will be slightly changed regarding to Value dimensions but can be used for a survey.
The exercise was graded 10/10 for all students.
Oral feedback from students was collected in the last online tutorial (as well as in the final written reflective statement they had to submit), reporting both positive and negative aspects
- Inductively, the introspective look at their own behavior as students helped in identifying the value dimensions
- Being just 7 students, they could easily organize themselves in 2 groups and jointly produce the questionnaire
- Quick understanding of what was due (the PPT and the oral explanation helped in this sense); in previous years just an oral explanation was made
- No life in-class discussion and no guest speaker invited to conduct the workshop (as done in previous years)
The "moral" reward was to present this paper (signed by the 7 students + the teacher)