How online learning, during COVID-19, has affected compassion in teaching and subsequently impacted student satisfaction

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Goetz et al (2010) defines compassion as ‘the ability to notice physical or social distress in others and take action to address it’, with active listening, empathy, desire to help, inclusivity, understanding emotions, promoting silence, and creating a safe space being the main components of compassion in a teaching environment (Gilbert, 2016). Furthermore, Caddell and Wilde (2018) found compassion to be an important part of the teacher-student working relationship and a key to student success. To understand the importance of compassion in teaching for student success, this study will look at how an increased use of online teaching (due to a pandemic) has negatively affected compassionate teaching and how that relates to student satisfaction. The present study uses a self-developed survey measure, in which, 44 undergraduate psychology students from each year group anonymously rate the use of the compassionate components. Using a Likert scale students stated how often their teaching includes the named compassionate components with the lower the score indicating a lack of compassion in the environment. The results showed that there was a significant correlation between hours of face-to-face teaching and compassionate scores, as well as compassionate and enjoyment scores. This demonstrates the importance of compassion within the learning environment. This article also discusses ways of implementing the compassionate components in an online environment to increase student satisfaction. Future research should consider how implementation of compassion pedagogy in online learning effects enjoyment scores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages16
JournalBlended Learning in Practice
VolumeSpring 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022


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