How Students With Anxiety Experience Online Learning

William Jackson


I am Will Jackson(he/him), a  fourth year Professional Communications Student.  I was born in Toronto and studied at the University of Ottawa for two years in an Honours English Program before moving to X University to pursue the a degree in Communications. I am interested in writing and marketing and hope to find a job after graduation doing work related to those interests. I love to travel and have backpacked through several regions of South-East Asia, and hope to continue my journeys throughout my life. I am also a passionate reader and always interested in trying a new food or a new spot to eat!

Research Summary

As someone who has dealt with a certain degree of social anxiety throughout my life, I found online learning to be a very different experience than in person and so I wanted to explore how other people with anxiety felt about that change. For this study I decided to interview post-secondary students who have a history of anxiety about how they felt in regards to this anxiety as we started participating in online education. I wanted to understand if the shift to online learning made students more or less anxious about attending classes, speaking out and engaging with discussions during class, and dealing with deadlines and other academic responsibilities. To understand this I conducted phenomenological interviews with several students, asking them about their experiences joining zoom calls and participating in small group discussions on Zoom using breakout rooms. Preliminary analyses of the responses don’t indicate that either learning method is more or less anxiety inducing. The level of anxiety experienced by students in online learning seems to vary based on the individual and some find certain aspects less anxiety provoking that in person and others the opposite.


Anxiety; Online Education; Education; Interviews;

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