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THE IMPACT OF DISTANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING ON THE WELL-BEING OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION – A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW PROTOCOL OF COVID-19-RELATED RESEARCH

J.P. Czakert , G. Paglioli Ballesteiros, R. Berger 

Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN)
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a disruptive, rapid uptake of distance teaching and learning, pressuring the psychological well-being of teachers and students [1]. Especially in Higher Education (HE), closed campuses prevail, and full or hybrid forms of distance teaching and learning became standard pandemic response measures. Preliminary results of timely research during the pandemic revealed heightened prevalence of severe self-reported depressive and anxious symptomatology [2], while HE educators facing feelings of uncertainty [1], role overload [3], and insufficient knowledge of remote teaching methods [4]. Simultaneously, it was stated that ‘the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an unprecedented mental health burden on students, which urgently requires further examination and immediate intervention’[5].

This systematic review aims to assess the impact of distance teaching and learning on the well-being of teachers and students in HE. Databases including CINAHL Complete, ERIC, MEDLINE, Teacher Reference Center, APA PsychInfo, APA PsycArticles, and special sections of COVID-19 research on researchgate.net and of journals (such as Frontiers), will be searched for relevant studies published in 2020. Studies in English language will be included if they focus on well-being (including performance indicators) on either side of the teaching-learning process, i.e. HE educators or students. Case reports, observation reports, as well as empirical and theoretical studies will be included. Papers focusing on primary or secondary education will be excluded. A refined search strategy will be applied for the different databases. Main search concepts are “distance teaching”, “distance learning”, “well-being”, “performance”, and “COVID-19”, related terms are already defined through thesaurus browsing and will be combined with the appropriate Boolean operators AND/OR. The present review protocol follows the PRISMA protocol of 2015 and will be registered in the PROSPERO register. Two reviewers will ensure a duplicate screening of titles and abstract, as well as subsequently screening of the potentially eligible full papers. Discrepancies will be resolved through consensus or by consulting a third reviewer. Zotero library will be used as shared reference management system to facilitate the duplicate screening process.

The review objectives are:
1) to identify the sample and method diversity of the related studies,
2) to describe the measures that have been utilized to assess the psychological impact of the ongoing emergency distance teaching-learning process on teachers’ well-being and performance in HE, and
(i) to identify the psychosocial risk factors and resources associated with distance teaching,
3) to describe the measures that have been utilized to assess the psychological impact of the ongoing emergency distance teaching-learning process on students’ well-being and performance in HE, and
(i) to identify the psychosocial risk factors and resources associated with distance learning,
4) to identify web-based learning tools (including immersive technologies) that have been shown or proposed to positively contribute to the well-being and/or performance of HE teachers and students, and
(i) to identify best-practices for learning content related distance teaching.
A descriptive synthesis is planned to summarize and to present the findings. The GRADE approach will be used to assess the quality of the evidence of the studies overall.