Virtual classroom management solutions for COVID–19 related anxiety issues

Bilal Qureshi, Peter Frost, Benjamin Spink


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immeasurable changes in almost every aspect of our lives and education is no exception. Following social distancing policies, the vast majority of educational institutions across the globe have shifted their academic structure from traditional face-to-face classes to online classes through a video conferencing software ‘Zoom’ as a synchronous method of instructions. Besides the fact that a complete diversion of classes toward online education has brought hope to many students to continue their education amid this time of the pandemic, there are many drawbacks to online learning, including online learning anxiety, that keep many students from achieving their learning goals. This study is designed to investigate Korean university students’ attitude toward online learning in general and their feelings of anxiety (if any) in particular when using video conferencing software ‘Zoom’. This mixed method study was conducted in two universities in Korea. Participants (n=132) were both male (n=61, 46.2%) and female (n=71, 53.8%) undergraduate students enrolled in the English linguistics department. The hypothesis stated that students with different socio-economic backgrounds have different attitudes towards online learning, which affects their feelings of anxiety for online learning. Quantitative data was collected in the form of survey questions, and interviews were conducted with randomly selected students (n=13) to obtain qualitative data. The findings suggest a few pedagogical implications for both teachers and students that include interventions and support by the experts to feel less isolated in online classes, and provision of a more user-friendly platform to be connected with teachers and peers.


Korean university students; covid-19; online learning anxiety; synchronous and video conferencing; zoom

Full Text:



Adam, T., Kaye, T., & Haßler, B. (2020). The Maldives and Sri Lanka: Question and Answer Session. (EdTech Hub Helpdesk Response No 18) DOI: 10.5281/zenodo. 3885817. Available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

Baticulon, R. E., Alberto, N. R. I., Baron, M. B. C., Mabulay, R. E. C., Rizada, L. G. T., Sy, J.J., Reyes, J. C. B. (2020). Barriers to online learning in the time of COVID-19: A national survey of medical students in the Philippines. medRxiv, 2020.2007.2016. 20155747. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.16.20155747.

Beaunoyer, E., Dupéré, S., & Guitton, M. J. (2020). COVID-19 and digital inequalities: Reciprocal impacts and mitigation strategies. Computers in Human Behavior, 111, Article 106424.

Cook, D. A. (2009). The failure of e-learning research to inform educational practice, and what we can do about it. Medical Teacher, 31(2), 158–162.

Cao, W., Fang, Z., Hou, G., Han, M., Xu, X., Dong, J., & Zheng, J. (2020). The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry Research, 287, Article 112934.

Carpenter, S. K., Witherby, A. E., & Tauber, S. K. (2020). On students’ (Mis) judgments of learning and teaching effectiveness. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 9(2), 137–151.

Choi, B. (2020). I’m Afraid of not succeeding in learning: Introducing an instrument to measure higher education students’ fear of failure in learning. Studies in Higher Education, 1–15.

Horwitz, E.K. Foreign and second language anxiety. Lang. Teach. 2010, 43, 154–167.

Hasan, K. (2020, May 16, 2020). Education during Covid-19: Experts fear students may not return to school. Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved from https://www.dhakatribune. com/bangladesh/2020/05/16/education-during-covid-19-experts-fear-studentsmay-not- return-to-school.

Jæger, M. M., & Blaabæk, E. H. (2020). Inequality in learning opportunities during Covid-19: Evidence from library takeout. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 68, Article 100524.

Jiang, S. (2020). Psychological well-being and distress in adolescents: An investigation into associations with poverty, peer victimization, and self-esteem. Children and Youth Services Review, 111, Article 104824.

Krashen, S. (1981). Second language acquisition and second language learning. Oxford, UK: Pergamon.

Kim, T.-Y., & Seo, H.-S. (2012). Elementary School Students' Foreign Language Learning Demotivation: A Mixed Methods Study of Korean EFL. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 21(1), 160-171.

Kim, T.-Y. (2013). An activity theory analysis of second language motivational self-system: Two Korean immigrants' ESL learning. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 22(4), 459-471.

Killian, J. (2020). College students, professors adjust to COVID-19 life.: Accessed 03, May 2020.

Liguori, E. W., & Winkler, C. (2020). From offline to online: Challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship education following the COVID-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy.

Lee, J. (2020). Mental health effects of school closures during COVID-19. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 4(6), 421. -7.

Liu, M. Anxiety in Chinese EFL students at different proficiency levels. System 2006, 34, 301–316.

Martin, A. (2020). How to optimize online learning in the age of coronavirus (COVID-19): A 5-point guide for educators. publication/339944395_How_to_Optimize_Online_Learning_in_the_Age_of_ Coronavirus _ COVID-19_A_5-Point_Guide_for_Educators.

Pichette, F. Second language anxiety and distance language learning. Foreign Lang. Ann. 2009, 42, 77–93

Na, Z. A study of high school students’ English learning anxiety. Asian EFL J. 2007, 9, 22–34.

Parkes, M., Stein, S., & Reading, C. (2014). Student preparedness for university e-learning environments. The Internet and Higher Education, 25, 1–10. 1016/j.iheduc.2014.10.002

Payne, J. S. (2020). Developing L2 productive language skills online and the strategic use of instructional tools. Foreign Language Annals. 12457

Russell, V., & Murphy‐Judy, K. (2020). Teaching language online: A guide to designing, developing, and delivering online, blended, and flipped language courses.

NewYork:Routledge. for-Designing-Developing-and-Delivering/Russell-Murphy-Judy/p/book/9781138387003.

Richard, F., & Anthony, C. (2019). A Rising Share of Undergraduates Are From Poor Families, Especially at Less Selective Colleges. Retrieved July 06, 2020, from https://

Symonds, Q. (2020a). The impact of the coronavirus on global higher education. Shkarkuarnga: Global-Higher-Education.pdf Accessed 27 April, 2020

Sintema, E. J. (2020). Effect of COVID-19 on the performance of grade 12 students: Implications for STEM education. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 16(7) em1851.

Teo, T. S. H., Kim, S. L., & Jiang, L. (2020). E-learning implementation in South Korea: Integrating effectiveness and legitimacy perspectives. Information Systems Frontiers, 22(2), 511–528.

Thompson, A.S.; Lee, J. The impact of experience abroad and language proficiency on language learning anxiety. TESOL Q. 2014, 48, 252–274.

WHO. (2020). WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard. Retrieved July 06, 2020, from

Zhou, L., Wu, S., Zhou, M., & Li, F. (2020). 'School’s Out, But Class’ On', The Largest Online Education in the World Today: Taking China’s Practical Exploration During The COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control As an Example. Best Evid Chin Edu 2020; 4(2):501-519.

Wong, Y. C., Ho, K. M., Chen, H., Gu, D., & Zeng, Q. (2015). Digital divide challenges of children in low-income families: The case of Shanghai. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 33(1), 53–71.

Yen, T.-F. T. (2020). The performance of online teaching for flipped classrooms based on COVID-19 aspect. Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, 57–64.

Zimmerman, B.J. Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory Into Pract. 2002, 41, 64–70.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 by the authors

License URL:

JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING INNOVATIONS AND MATERIALS (JELTIM) is published by the Language Center of Universitas Tanjungpura in collaboration the with the English Language Teaching Materials (ELTeaM) association  [Download MoU]. The publication of this journal is indexed by Arjuna (Sinta-2)Google Scholar, ROAD, Garuda, Scilit, Crossref, Research Gate, and Dimensions


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution
NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

View My Stats