Argosy Education

Students Thrive Delta During The Pandemic

September 13, 2021 // by ijit

Students Thrive Delta During The Pandemic

COVID-19 is asserting itself with the Delta variant of the virus posing a grave threat to young people. Physical distancing has become a new reality in post-secondary education. Universities continue to offer courses online, despite the pandemic. Research has shown that mindfulness training can be deliver online and is effective, providing benefits previously undiscovered to science.

Students are starting to show signs of wear one year after the pandemic. 2020 Student Experience Survey indicates that post-secondary students are less engaged with learning. Respondents stated that they were 4% more likely than others to drop out because of stress or other health issues. Universities face with a pressing need for students to cope. Online mindfulness training is a promising resource.

Mindfulness refers to the act of paying attention to present experience and focusing your attention with an open, curious, and accepting mindset. It usually taught in person. Online mindfulness training is becoming increasingly popular due to the benefits of online delivery during a pandemic.

What Was The Result Of The Delta Study?

A slew of studies has proven that mindfulness can use to alleviate symptoms of mental suffering such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Our study, published in Academy of Management Learning & Education shows that online mindfulness training can help more than just alleviate these symptoms. It can even help students thrive.

Two-thirds of the 227 graduate students were surveyed on their psychological well-being after they completed online mindfulness training. Half of the participants took part in an online, evidence-based program. For eight weeks, it involved mindfulness meditation for 30 minutes per day, five days a semaine, for 30 minutes each.

The placebo control was the half that took part in the same amount of training known to improve health and well-being, namely physical exercise.

Both groups saw an improvement in the psychological well-being. These improvements were based on criteria such as self-acceptance and personal growth, meaning and purpose, positive relationships with other people, and self-acceptance.

Online mindfulness training has a distinct advantage. Online mindfulness training helped students develop authenticity, which improved their psychological well-being.

What Is Delta Authenticity?

Authenticity is one powerful indicator of psychological health. Individuals who are authentic are self-aware and in touch with their emotions and thoughts. They live in harmony with their beliefs and values.

Our findings echo Socratic exhortations know thyself as well as Shakespearean exhortations to your own self be true. Since long, educators have extolled authenticity as a virtue for character and leadership. They have not had evidence based, practical ways to guide students in authentic living up until now.

The study found that students who took online mindfulness training were more authentic. This was achieved by increasing students’ self-awareness, and secondarily aligning their actions with their values.

Some Students Are More Fortunate Than Others

These findings are encouraging, but not all students saw the same benefits. Online mindfulness training increased authenticity for nearly 60% of students, but not for others (although they still enjoyed other well-being benefits).

What made the difference? Personality is the key to understanding. Every educator understands the importance of personality in student performance. Every psychologist understands that the most important aspect of student performance for personality is conscientiousness. High-conscientious students are more successful because they have self-discipline and attention to detail. They also show reliability, thoughtfulness, persistence, hard work, and dependability.

Conscientiousness is more important when students are not able to access the same learning space or shelter from distractions as classrooms

Our reasoning was supported by the results: Online mindfulness training only benefits highly conscientious students in terms of authenticity, and the psychological well being that follows it. Students who had low levels of conscientiousness did not receive the same amount of training. However, authenticity was evident. This suggests that online mindfulness training is more effective when students are conscientious.

It Is Not A Panacea For Delta Student Well-Being

This is the first study to demonstrate that online mindfulness training can have its benefits for students who want to cultivate authenticity and thrive in remote learning environments.

This research provides timely evidence to support the incorporation of online mindfulness training into higher education, as universities are financially stretched and educators are struggling to provide engaging content that is effective and engaging online.

These findings caution educators to not view online mindfulness training in isolation as a panacea to student well-being. It should be seen as part of a larger strategy to help students deal with the psychological effects of distance education in a COVID-19 era.

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