Research shows: Online teaching increases feelings of stress among academics

The findings show that, in addition to the possible psychological effects on members of the academic staff, distance education also adversely affects the health aspect of their vocal cords.

A new study found that the synchronous online instruction forced on academics in Israel negatively affects their degree of stress, and is also reflected in their voices. The study found that lecturers who delivered synchronous lectures were characterized by increased levels of psychological stress compared to their stress experience in the regular teaching other than during the Corona. This affected negative symptoms in their voices (such as hoarseness, vocal fatigue, vocal production effort, pain or frequent need to drink water).

The study examined over 300 lecturers from 14 different academic institutions in Israel. Lecturers have been found to report a significant increase in stress experience during online teaching and exposure to Corona, compared to the amount of stress they experience in routine.

Online learning (Photo: Israel Ministry of Education spokeswomen)

Although lecturers do not feel the negative changes in their voice symptoms compared to normal teaching, the findings show that there is a positive relationship between the level of stress experienced by the lecturers in recent times and how this affects negative symptoms in their voice. Thus, close to 30% of those surveyed reported that they increased their volume during remote online lectures, compared to regular frontal lectures. There is also a positive correlation between the psychological stress of these lecturers and the reporting of increased volume – and both are associated with an increase in the negative symptoms of sound.

The study was conducted by Prof. Avi Besser, communications clinician Sherry Lotem and Dr. Virgil Ziggler-Hill. Professor Bessar, head of the Department of Communication Disorders, emphasizes that “the importance of the research is that very few studies have been done on the psychological and sound effects of academic lecturers in the past. Strong validity.”

Professor Avi Bessar


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