Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Based on a survey of undergraduate business students at a private Midwestern university in the United States, we found that the abrupt mid-semester transition from campus learning to at-home online learning due to the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to an unexpected challenge for students. Students reported that stay-at-home learning eroded support for their student role while also creating conflicts between the student role and other competing roles, such as child, sibling, or supplemental wage earner. As a result, they significantly lacked motivation to complete schoolwork during stay-at-home orders. Using a framework rooted in role identity theory, we analyze this role erosion and role conflict. Based on that analysis, we suggest potential actions for faculty to mitigate the adverse impact that this role erosion/conflict has on learning and, thus, bolster the student role while simultaneously reducing conflict between the student role and other competing roles. As we brace for multiple semesters of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, such efforts to facilitate positive stay-at-home learning experiences for our students will contribute to determining our academic success and our educational institutions’ economic viability.





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