Positive Psychology: Exploring a Mindful Approach to Online Learning in Higher Education

Positive Psychology: Exploring a Mindful Approach to Online Learning in Higher Education

Christine A. DeLucia
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6480-6.ch012
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The application of mindfulness practice in education has been a growing area of interest in research. Some of the benefits of mindfulness practice in education include increased focus and concentration, decreased stress and anxiety, and improved overall well-being. While mindfulness in education has been studied in preschool, elementary, secondary, and tertiary settings, little research has been done examining the benefits of mindfulness in an online learning environment. As online learning continues to be an emerging trend in higher education, it is important for educators to consider alternative ways to support the holistic needs of online learners. This chapter explores the impact of mindfulness resources on the academic and emotional experience of the online learner.
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Online Learning

Allen and Seaman (2016) examined the current state of online education in higher education in the United States. They sought to discover how many students are learning online and if perceptions of online learning were comparable to face-to-face instruction. Data was collected through a survey that was designed, administered and analyzed by the Babson Survey Research Group during the fall of 2015. Additional information was obtained from the National Center for Educational Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database covering results for 2014. The College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges was also utilized for comparison data from prior years. Findings from the study indicated that online enrollments continue to increase even as overall enrollment in higher education declines and the number of students that are taking online courses exclusively is increasing as well as students taking some of their courses online is increasing (Allen & Seaman, 2016). Additionally, institutions offering more online classes reported online learning to be superior to face-to-face instruction. Research also finds that online instruction is as effective or more effective than face to face instruction in relation to course structure, reading materials, complementary materials, communication with instructors, engagement, and learning outcomes as students reported greater satisfaction with online courses than face to face courses and that students prefer courses that have an online component (Dahlstrom & Bichel, 2014; Soffer & Nachmias, 2018).

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