Relationship between teaching modality and COVID-19, well-being, and teaching satisfaction (campus & corona): A cohort study among students in higher education
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPublic Health in Practice. 2021, 2 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100187
Objectives: Higher education institutions all over the world struggled to balance the need for infection control and educational requirements, as they prepared to reopen after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A particularly difficult choice was whether to offer for in-person or online teaching. Norwegian universities and university colleges opted for a hybrid model when they reopened for the autumn semester, with some students being offered more in-person teaching than others. We seized this opportunity to study the association between different teaching modalities and COVID-19 risk, quality of life (subjective well-being), and teaching satisfaction. Study design: Prospective, observational cohort study. Methods: We recruited students in higher education institutions in Norway who we surveyed biweekly from September to December in 2020. Results: 26 754 students from 14 higher education institutions provided data to our analyses. We found that two weeks of in-person teaching was negatively associated with COVID-19 risk compared to online teaching, but the difference was very uncertain (− 22% relative difference; 95% CI -77%–33%). Quality of life was positively associated with in-person teaching (3%; 95% CI 2%–4%), as was teaching satisfaction (10%; 95% CI 8%–11%). Conclusion: The association between COVID-19 infection and teaching modality was highly uncertain. Shifting from in-person to online teaching seems to have a negative impact on the well-being of students in higher education.