Student satisfaction with online academic skills sessions during the pandemic

Sheryl Mansfield, Samantha King, Paul Rice*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


During the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Northampton changed its usual mode of delivery from face-to-face to online. This may have involved less adjustment than in other institutions as, pre-pandemic, the university already made use of active blended learning using its virtual learning environment.
To capture the student voice concerning satisfaction with this change of mode, professional service teams surveyed students attending embedded academic skills and information literacy workshops. The number of students completing the survey was 385 and overall, students were satisfied with online learning.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents listed specific advantages and challenges of online learning. The most frequently mentioned advantage was convenience: being at home; the greater ease of combining study with work or home life; and reduced traveling saving both time and money. Other advantages were the improved quality and functionality of the online sessions, and positive motivational/affective factors. The most common challenge was issues with technology. Other challenges were negative motivational/affective factors, with students reporting lack of concentration and that the sessions were impersonal. A significant challenge was a perceived lack of communication between both students and lecturers, and students and their peers. Age was found to be a salient factor with students over the age of 30 markedly more positive about online learning than their younger peers.
Concerns for practitioners in moving to online learning would be around ensuring students have access to the appropriate technology and finding ways to improve communication online. However, with appropriate planning, future provision may benefit from the advantages that online learning affords.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalJournal of University Teaching and Learning Practice
Issue number5
Early online date28 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2022


  • Academic skills
  • Online learning
  • Satisfaction


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