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Abstract / Synopsis

We describe students’ learning practices in an online asynchronous PreCalculus course during Fall 2020, the first complete semester of distance learning induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Results were compiled using a thematic analysis of a questionnaire administered to 43 students enrolled in PreCalculus at a university in the Midwest (United States). Students were given opportunities for active learning and various synchronous Q&A sessions, yet they primarily learned through watching videos and reading worked examples, minimizing interactions with the instructor and available tutors. The questionnaire results show that students knew active learning was helpful, but they were unable to curtail unproductive learning practices. The questionnaire also showed that students struggled to stay motivated and keep to a schedule. We conclude that by developing their study techniques and self-regulatory habits, students will be able to take more control over their learning, particularly in asynchronous classes.

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