Christiane Spiel: How to study during a pandemic

“In March 2020, more than 1.1 million students in Austria switched to home study basically without warning. Because of that, self-regulated studying has become a necessity. We are researching how this works in a research project at the Faculty of Psychology (University of Vienna), which is sponsored by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund.

The results we have so far from three investigations, show a high significance of psychological basic needs: self-efficacy, autonomy, and social integration for wellbeing. The results also showed the importance of self-organisation for a succesful completion of tasks. Whether wellbeing is improved or worsened during home stuy is connected to how well studying actually works at home. Based on that we recommend to pay more attention to these psychological basic needs. Self-organised learning should be supported at schools with sufficient opportunities. Especially risk groups – which we definitely underestimated in our study – should be assisted and fostered in a sustainable manner.”

Christiane Spiel is Professor for Educational Psychology and Head of Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education, Economy at the Faculty of Psychology, at the University of Vienna. The study on studying under Covid-19 was conducted under the lead of Barbara Schober, Marko Lüftenegger & Christiane Spiel.

Photo: (c) Gerhard Smolke