Achievement emotions of university students in on-campus and online education during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Esmaeil Ghaderi Payame Noor University, Iran
  • Ali Khoshnood Payame Noor University, Iran
  • Neda Fekri Islamic Azad University, Iran
Keywords: COVID-19, emotions, online classes, face-to-face classes, university students


Feelings and emotions play a prominent role in the motivation and academic performance of students. Considering this importance, this study aimed to compare the achievement emotions of students in two educational environments, traditional face-to-face classes and online classes, grown after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this goal, 92 university students who had the experience of the two modes of education evaluated their emotions in these contexts. The findings indicated that university students had better class-related and learning-related feelings (enjoyment, hope, and pride) in traditional face-to-face education. These students also reported feeling angrier in online classes. Differences in other emotions, such as anxiety, hopelessness, boredom, and shame, were not significant. Test-related emotions of students were rather similar in these two educational contexts. Although traditional face-to-face education produced more positive emotions in students, 29.7% of the students preferred to continue their studies in online mode. Blended education can help students make optimum use of available resources. The findings can be of use to educational policymakers, curriculum planners, teachers, and students.

Received: 31 January 2022
Accepted: 19 October 2022


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Esmaeil Ghaderi, Payame Noor University, Iran

Assistant professor of English Language Teaching at Payame Noor University, Iran. He has received his Ph. D. in English Language Teaching. He has published articles in scientific international journals and also in national journals in Iran. He has also presented papers on different issues in teaching English in national and international conferences. He has taught English to Iranian students for about 18 years. He is presently teaching B. A. and M. A. courses, including language teaching methodology, English for specific purposes, and theories of translation. He is also supervising and advising theses in applied linguistics. His areas of interest include second language writing, EFL textbooks, teacher education, flipped classrooms, and individual differences of learners. He has also reviewed some manuscripts for refereed journals.

Ali Khoshnood, Payame Noor University, Iran

Was born in 1980 in Southern part of Iran. He has obtained his B.A. in English Language and Literature, from Islamic Azad University of Larestan, Iran. During his B.A. studies, he has done a comparative research paper on John Milton’s major epics and Holy Quran and this project was awarded as the best project of the year 2002. He has earned his M.A. degree in English from Bangalore University, India, 2005 and a year later, he attended an intensive course on commercial correspondences at the Faculty of Economics, Tehran University. In 2008, he enrolled in UPM to pursue his doctorate program in the same field and graduated in 2012. He has been teaching at several Iranian universities since 2009 and now is a full time faculty member and head of English department of Payame Noor University of Bandar Abbas since 2013. He has published nine articles in peer-reviewed and indexed journals such as Springer Nature and Gema Online and also presented a few articles in conferences. During his academic tenure he has taught M.A. courses in ELT and English literature and supervised 11 M.A. students so far. He also reviewed some articles for refereed journals.

Neda Fekri, Islamic Azad University, Iran

Assistant professor in Department of English language, Aliabad Katoul Branch, Islamic Azad University, Aliabad Katoul, Iran. She has conducted different studies in the area of English Language Teaching. Her earlier studies were specifically on cooperative/ competitive learning strategies, autonomy, peer/ teacher feedback, textbook evaluation. She has over 19 years of teaching experience at the university teaching courses from Bachelor to Ph.D. She has so far supervised many graduate theses at the same university on ELT.


Baek, Youngkyun, and Achraf Touati. 2017. “Exploring How Individual Traits Influence Enjoyment in a Mobile Learning Game.” Computers in Human Behavior 69: 347–357.

Barrot, Jessie S., Ian I. Llenares, and Leo S. Del Rosario. 2021.”Students’ Online Learning Challenges during the Pandemic and How They Cope with Them: The Case of the Philippines.” Education and Information Technologies 26, no. 6: 7321–7338.

Beck, Gary L. 2011. “Investigation of the Relationship between Achievement Emotions and Academic Performance in Medical Students.” PhD diss., Capella University, Minneapolis.

Bieleke, Maik, Katarzyna Gogol, Thomas Goetz, Lia Daniels, and Reinhard Pekrun. 2021. “The AEQ-S: A Short Version of the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire.” Contemporary Educational Psychology 65: 101940.

Brown, Byron W., and Carl E. Liedholm. 2002. “Teaching microeconomic principles.” American Economic Review, 92, 444–448.

Camacho-Morles, Jesús, Gavin R. Slemp, Reinhard Pekrun, Kristina Loderer, Hanchao Hou, and Lindsay G. Oades. 2021. “Activity Achievement Emotions and Academic Performance: A Meta-Analysis.” Educational Psychology Review 33 (3): 1051–1095.

DePoy, Elizabeth, and Laura N. Gitlin. 2019. Introduction to Research E-book: Understanding and Applying Multiple Strategies. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Enkin, Elizabeth, and Errapel Mejías-Bikandi. 2015. “The Effectiveness of Online Teaching in an Advanced Spanish Language Course.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics 27 (1): 176–197.

Figlio, David, Mark Rush, and Lu Yin. 2013. “Is It Live or Is It Internet? Experimental Estimates of the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning.” Journal of Labor Economics 31 (4): 763–84.

Gherheș, Vasile, Claudia E. Stoian, Marcela Alina Fărcașiu, and Miroslav Stanici. 2021. “E-Learning vs. Face-to-Face Learning: Analyzing Students’ Preferences and Behaviors.” Sustainability (Switzerland).

Goertler, Senta, and Adam Gacs. 2018. “Assessment in Online German: Assessment Methods and Results.” Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German 51 (2): 156– 174.

Goetz, Thomas, and Nathan C. Hall. 2013. “Emotion and Achievement in the Classroom.” In International Guide to Student Achievement, edited by John Hattie and Eric M. Anderman, 192–195. New York, NY: Routledge.

Jirásek, Ivo, and Bohuslav Stránský. 2022. “Revealing Invisibility: Interpreting Social and Behavioral Aspects of the Coronavirus Pandemic through Student Documentary Photography”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 9 (2), 217– 44.

Kaupp, Ray. 2012. “Online penalty: The impact of Online Instruction on the LatinoWhite Achievement Gap.” Journal of Applied Research in the Community College 12 (2), 1–9.

König, Johannes, Daniela J. Jaeger-Biela, and Nina Glutsch. 2020. “Adapting to Online Teaching during COVID-19 School Closure: Teacher Education and Teacher Competence Effects among Early Career Teachers in Germany.” European Journal of Teacher Education, 43 (4). S. 608 –623.

Lei, Man, and Jane Medwell. 2021. “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Student Teachers: How the Shift to Online Collaborative Learning Affects Student Teachers’ Learning and Future Teaching in a Chinese Context.” Asia Pacific Education Review 22: 1–11. doi:

Li, Sijia, Yilin Wang, Jia Xue, Nan Zhao, and Tingshao Zhu. 2020. “The Impact of COVID-19 Epidemic Declaration on Psychological Consequences: A Study on Active Weibo Users”. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17 (6): 2032.

Linnenbrink, Elizabeth A. 2007. “The Role of Affect in Student Learning: A MultiDimensional Approach to Considering the Interaction of Affect, Motivation, and Engagement.” In Emotion in Education, edited by Paul A. Schutz and Reinhart Pekrun, 107–124. Elsevier Academic Press.

Mathrani, Anuradha, Tarushikha Sarvesh, and Rahila Umer. 2021. “Digital Divide Framework: Online Learning in Developing Countries during the COVID-19 Lockdown.” Globalisation, Societies and Education 1–16. 80/14767724.2021.1981253.

Parker, Kim, Amanda Lenhart, and Kathleen Moore. 2011. “The Digital Revolution and Higher Education: College Presidents, Public Differ on Value of Online Learning.” Pew Research Center.

Pekrun, Reinhard. 2005. “Progress and Open Problems in Educational Emotion Research.” Learning and Instruction 15 (5): 497–506. https://doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2005.07.014.

Pekrun, Reinhard. 2006. “The Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions: Assumptions, Corollaries, and Implications for Educational Research and Practice.” Educational Psychology Review 18 (4): 315–341.

Pekrun, Reinhard. 2019. “Achievement Emotions: A Control-Value Theory Perspective.” In Emotions in Late Modernity, edited by Roger Patulny, Alberto Bellocchi, Rebecca E. Olson, Sukhmani Khorana, Jordan McKenzie, and Michelle Peterie, 142–157. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Pekrun, Reinhard, Anne C. Frenzel, Thomas Goetz, and Raymond P. Perry. 2007. “The Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions: An Integrative Approach to Emotions in Education.” In Emotion in Education edited by Paul A. Schutz and Reinhart Pekrun, 13–36. Burlington, MA: Academic Press.

Pekrun, Reinhard, Thomas Goetz, Anne C. Frenzel, Petra Barchfeld, and Raymond P. Perry. 2011. “Measuring Emotions in Students’ Learning and Performance: The Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ).” Contemporary Educational Psychology 36 (1): 36–48.

Pekrun, Reinhard, Thomas Goetz, and Raimond P. Perry. 2005. “Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ). User’s Manual.” University of Munich, Munich.

Pekrun, Reinhard, Thomas Goetz, Wolfram Titz, and Raymond P. Perry. 2002. “Academic Emotions in Students’ Self-Regulated Learning and Achievement: A Program of Qualitative and Quantitative Research.” Educational Psychologist 37 (2): 91–105.

Pekrun, Reinhard, Stephanie Lichtenfeld, Herbert W. Marsh, Kou Murayama, and Thomas Goetz. 2017. “Achievement Emotions and Academic Performance: Longitudinal Models of Reciprocal Effects.” Child Development 88 (5): 1653– 70.

Pekrun, Reinhard, and Elizabeth J. Stephens. 2010. “Achievement Emotions: A ControlValue Approach: Achievement Emotions.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 4 (4): 238–55.

Ranellucci, John, Nathan C. Hall, and Thomas Goetz. 2015. “Achievement Goals, Emotions, Learning, and Performance: A Process Model.” Motivation Science 1 (2): 98–120.

Rubio, Fernando, Jonathan M. Thomas, and Qin Li. 2018. “The Role of Teaching Presence and Student Participation in Spanish Blended Courses.” Computer Assisted Language Learning 31 (3): 226–50.

Salmon, Gilly. 2013. E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning. Routledge.

Stephan, Melanie, Stefan Markus, and Michaela Gläser-Zikuda. 2019. “Students’ Achievement Emotions and Online Learning in Teacher Education.” Frontiers in Education 4 (October): 109.

Tannert, Swantje, and Alexander Gröschner. 2021. “Joy of Distance Learning? How Student Self-Efficacy and Emotions Relate to Social Support and School Environment.” European Educational Research Journal 20(4): 498–519.

Turner, Jeannine E., and Diane L. Schallert. 2001. “Expectancy–Value Relationships of Shame Reactions and Shame Resiliency.” Journal of Educational Psychology 93 (2): 320–29.

Tze, Virginia M. C., Lia M. Daniels, and Robert M. Klassen. 2016. “Evaluating the

Relationship between Boredom and Academic Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis.” Educational Psychology Review 28 (1): 119–44.

Varma, Prerna, Moira Junge, Hailey Meaklim, and Melinda L. Jackson. 2021. “Younger People Are More Vulnerable to Stress, Anxiety and Depression during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Cross-Sectional Survey.” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 109 (July): 110236.

Wu, D. Derek. “Online Learning in Postsecondary Education: A Review of the Empirical Literature (2013-2014).” Ithaka S+R. Last Modified 11 March 2015.

Zarei, Soraya, and Shahriar Mohammadi. 2021.“Challenges of Higher Education Related to E-learning in Developing Countries during COVID-19 Spread: A Review of the Perspectives of Students, Instructors, Policymakers, and ICT Experts.” Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 1– 7.

Zeidner, Moshe. 1998. Test Anxiety: The State of the Art: Perspectives on Individual Differences. New York: Plenum Press.

How to Cite
Ghaderi, Esmaeil, Ali Khoshnood, and Neda Fekri. 2022. “Achievement Emotions of University Students in on-Campus and Online Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 10 (1), 319-36.