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Student Learning and Wellbeing during the Pandemic: Evidence from the SERU COVID-19 Survey

Student Learning and Wellbeing during the Pandemic: Evidence from the SERU COVID-19 Survey

The presentation discusses the results from the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium survey of more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students at research-intensive universities in the United States conducted in May-July 2020. We focus on two aspects of student experience during the pandemic: how students adapted to remote instruction implemented by universities in Spring 2020; and how the pandemic affected students' wellbeing and mental health. The results suggest that the transition to remote instruction was generally difficult to students and they experienced more obstacles rather than benefits. Furthermore, there are major disparities in students’ adaptation to remote instruction based upon their demographics, social identity, prior experience with online learning, and life responsibilities. In addition, the pandemic had looming negative impacts of the pandemic on students’ mental health, wellbeing, and safety. We discuss the implications of our findings for higher education policy and university operations during the pandemic.


  • Dr. Igor Chirikov, SERU Consortium Director and Senior Researcher, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Krista M. Soria, Director of Student Affairs Assessment at the University of Minnesota; Assistant Director for Research and Strategic Partnerships, SERU Consortium.
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