logo logo European Journal of Educational Research

EU-JER is is a, peer reviewed, online academic research journal.

Subscribe to

Receive Email Alerts

for special events, calls for papers, and professional development opportunities.


Publisher (HQ)

Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
online learning pedagogical practices assessment learning outcomes affective factors academic achievement

The Effects of Online Learning on EFL Students’ Academic Achievement during Coronavirus Disease Pandemic

Cynthia Hidalgo-Camacho , Gloria Isabel Escudero , Wilma Villacís , Karolin Varela

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic changed education conditions worldwide forcing all the parties involved to adapt to a new system. This study a.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic changed education conditions worldwide forcing all the parties involved to adapt to a new system. This study aimed to collect information related to the effects of teaching English online on English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students’ achievement. Data were collected from EFL teachers and students enrolled in three different Ecuadorian Universities (Technical University of Ambato, Higher Polytechnic School of Chimborazo, and University of Cuenca) from five different levels: A1, A2, B1, B1+, and B2. This preliminary paper reports the results of 480 students regarding four major sections: pedagogical practice and assessment, learning outcomes, affective factors and perceptions of students about the advantages and disadvantages of online learning during the pandemic COVID-19; considering the Hierarchy of online learning needs of Justin Shewell. An online survey questionnaire with 17 questions and a 5-point Likert scale was applied. The Cronbach's Alpha test presented 0.84 and 0.73 level of reliability. The Kolmogorov Smirnov’s statistic and, the Kendall's Tau_b tests, and the Levene's test for homogeneity of variances were performed with the SPSS statistical program. The results made evident that online learning affects academic achievement in EFL students during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was confirmed after analyzing four main areas: pedagogical practices and assessment, learning outcomes, affective factors and students’ perceptions about the advantages and disadvantages of online learning. The importance of online learning was highlighted since it has been understood as a tool to face the emergency produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: Online learning, pedagogical practices, assessment, learning outcomes, affective factors, academic achievement.

cloud_download PDF
Article Metrics



Abuhassna, H., Al-Rahmi, W. M., Yahya, N., Zakaria, M. A. Z. M., Kosnin, A. B. M., & Darwish, M. (2020). Development of a new model on utilizing online learning platforms to improve students’ academic achievements and satisfaction. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 17(1), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1186/S41239-020-00216-Z

Allo, M. D. (2020). Is the online learning good in the midst of Covid-19 Pandemic? The case of EFL learners. Journal Sinestesia10(1), 1-10.

Al-Salman, S., & Haider, A. S. (2021). Jordanian University students’ views on emergency online learning during COVID-19. Online Learning, 25(1), 286–302. https://doi.org/10.24059/OLJ.V25I1.2470

Amer, A. A. (2003). Teaching EFL/ESL literature. The Reading Matrix, 3(2), 63–73.

Ananiadou, K., & Claro, M. (2009). 21st century skills and competences for new millennium learners. OECD Education Working paper, 41,1-24. https://doi.org/10.1787/218525261154

Aristovnik, A., Keržič, D., Ravšelj, D., Tomaževič, N., & Umek, L. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on life of higher education students: A global perspective. Sustainability12(20), 1-34. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208438

Atmojo, A. E. P., & Nugroho, A. (2020). EFL classes must go online! Teaching activities and challenges during COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Register Journal13(1), 49-76. https://doi.org/10.18326/RGT.V13I1.49-76

Baticulon, R., Sy, J., Alberto, N., Baron, M., Mabulay, R., Rizada, L., Tiu, C., Clarion, C., & Reyes, J. (2021). Barriers to online learning in the time of COVID-19: A national survey of medical students in the Philippines. Medical Science Educator, 31(2), 615–626. https://doi.org/10.1007/S40670-021-01231-z

Besser, A., Flett, G. L., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2020). Adaptability to a sudden transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: Understanding the Challenges for Students. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology. Advance online publication https://doi.org/10.1037/STL0000198

Cerezo, R., Sánchez-Santillán, M., Paule-Ruiz, M., & Núñez, J. C. (2016). Students’ LMS interaction patterns and their relationship with achievement: A case study in higher education. Computers & Education, 96, 42–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPEDU.2016.02.006

Clark, A. E., Nong, H., Zhu, H., & Zhu, R. (2020). Compensating for Academic Loss: Online Learning and Student Performance during the COVID-19 Pandemic. China Economic Review, 68, 101629. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101629

Conijn, R., Snijders, C., Kleingeld, A., & Matzat, U. (2017). Predicting student performance from LMS data: A comparison of 17 blended courses using moodle LMS. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 10(1), 17–29. https://doi.org/10.1109/TLT.2016.2616312

Delores, J., Carneiro, R., Chung, F., Geremek, B., Gorham, W., Kornhauser, A., Manley, M., Quero, M. P., Savane, M.-A., Singh, K., Stavenhagen, R., Won, M., & Nanzhao, S. Z. (1996). Learning: the treasure within; report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Duque, R., Isotani, S., Rodriguez, C. L., Lyra, K. T., Jaques, P. A., & Bittencourt, I. I. (2018). Affective states in computer-supported collaborative learning: Studying the past to drive the future. Computers & Education, 120, 29–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPEDU.2018.01.015

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2020). La educación en tiempos de la pandemia de COVID-19 [Education in times of the COVID-19 pandemic]. https://bit.ly/3zg1RFK

Erickson, M., & Wattiaux, M. (2021). Practices and perceptions at the COVID‐19 transition in undergraduate animal science courses. Natural Sciences Education, 50(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1002/NSE2.20039

Ferdig, R., Cavanaugh, C., DiPietro, M., Black, E., & Dawson, K. (2009). Virtual Schooling Standards and Best Practices for Teacher Education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 203-226.

Ferraro, F. V., Ambra, F. I., Aruta, L., & Iavarone, M. L. (2020). Distance Learning in the COVID-19 Era: Perceptions in Southern Italy. Education Sciences, 10(12), 355. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10120355

Gonzalez-Ramirez, J., Mulqueen, K., Zealand, R., Silverstein, S., Reina, C., BuShell, S., & Ladda, S. (2020). Emergency Online Learning: College Students’ Perceptions during the COVID-19 Crisis. College Students Journal, 55(1), 29-46. https://doi.org/10.2139/SSRN.3831526

Hassan, S. U. N., Algahtani, F. D., Zrieq, R., Aldhmadi, B. K., Atta, A., Obeidat, R. M., & Kadri, A. (2021). Academic self-perception and course satisfaction among university students taking virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia (KSA). Education Sciences, 11(3), 134. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030134

Hellman, A. B. (2020). The 6 principles® quick guide: Remote teaching of K–12 English learners. TESOL International Association

Henter, R. (2014). Affective Factors Involved in Learning a Foreign Language. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 127, 373–378. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SBSPRO.2014.03.274

Joksimović, S., Gašević, D., Loughin, T. M., Kovanović, V., & Hatala, M. (2015). Learning at distance: effects of interaction traces on academic achievement. Computers & Education, 87, 204–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPEDU.2015.07.002

Karalis, T. (2020). Planning and evaluation during educational disruption: lessons learned from Covid-19 pandemic for treatment of emergencies in education. European Journal of Education Studies, 7(4), 125-142.    http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3789022

Martin, A. (2020, March 16). How to optimize online learning in the age of coronavirus (COVID-19): A 5-point guide for educators. UNSW Newsroom. https://bit.ly/3khCTBs

Maslow, A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0054346

Milheim, K. (2012). Toward a better experience: Examining student needs in the online classroom through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(2), 159-171.

Motz, B., Quick, J., Schroeder, N., Zook, J., & Gunkel, M. (2019). The validity and utility of activity logs as a measure of student engagement. In S. Hsiao, J. Cunningham, K. McCarthy, & G. Lynch (Eds.), LAK19 Conference: 9th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge. (pp. 300-309). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3303772.3303789

Motz, B. A., Quick, J.D., Wernert, J.A., & Miles, T.A. (2021). A pandemic of busywork: Increased online coursework following the transition to remote instruction is associated with reduced academic achievement. Online Learning, 25(1), 70-85. https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v25i1.2475

Muthuprasad, T., Aiswarya, S., Aditya, K. S., & Jha, G. K. (2021). Students’ perception and preference for online education in India during COVID -19 pandemic. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, 3(1), 100101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssaho.2020.100101

Nasution, A., & Nandiyanto, A. (2021). Utilization of the Google meet and quiziz applications in the assistance and strengthening process of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesian Journal of Educational Research and Technology, 1(1), 31-34

Nurohmat, N. (2020). The Effect of Online Learning on Students’ English Learning Achievement. Scripta: English Department Journal7(2), 58-65.

Oyedotun, T. D. (2020). Sudden change of pedagogy in education driven by COVID-19: Perspectives and evaluation from a developing country. Research in Globalization, 2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resglo.2020.100029

Ozel, M., Caglak, S., & Erdogan, M. (2013). Are affective factors a good predictor of science achievement? Examining the role of affective factors based on PISA 2006. Learning and Individual Differences, 24, 73–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.LINDIF.2012.09.006

Palmer, C., & Bolderston, A. (2006). A Brief Introduction to Qualitative Research. Canadian Journal of Medical Radiation Technology, 37(1), 16–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0820-5930(09)60112-2

Popovici, A., & Mironov, C. (2015). Students’ Perception on using e-learning technologies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180, 1514–1519. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SBSPRO.2015.02.300

Rastegar, M., & Memarpour, S. (2009). The relationship between emotional intelligence and self-efficacy among Iranian EFL teachers. System, 37(4), 700–707. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SYSTEM.2009.09.013

Russell, V. (2020). Language anxiety and the online learner. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12461

Shewell, J. (2020, October 15). A hierarchy of needs for successful online learning. https://jshewell.com/articles/31  

Sukman, K., & Mhunkongdee, T. (2021). Thai EFL learners’ voices on learning English online during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of English Language Teaching, 9(2), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3824069

Tan, C. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on student motivation, community of inquiry and learning performance. Asian Education and Development Studies, 10(2), 308–321. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-05-2020-0084

TESOL International Association. (2021). The six principles for exemplary teaching of English Learners. TESOL International Association. https://www.tesol.org/the-6-principles/

Ventura-León, J. (2019). Tamaño del efecto para Kruskal-Wallis: contribution to the article by Domínguez-González et al. Research in medical education, 8(30), 135-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.riem.2017.07.002