Analysis of Anxiety, Motivation, and Confidence of STEM Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dilek Soysal 1 * , Majid Bani-Yaghoub 1 , Tiffani A. Riggers-Piehl 2
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1 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA2 Division of Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations, University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, USA* Corresponding Author


The current COVID-19 pandemic has largely impacted the academic performance of several college students. The present study is concerned with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree. We collected weekly survey data (w=9) of students (n=53) taking calculus courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the self-reported survey data, we investigated the temporal variations in the levels of anxiety, motivation, and confidence of STEM students. Studies on temporal changes to math anxiety are scarce. The present work aims to fill this gap by analyzing longitudinal survey data associated with math anxiety. Furthermore, using descriptive and inferential statistical methods such as one-way ANOVA, we analyzed the data with respect to gender and academic level. Our results indicated that male and freshman/sophomore (F/Sp) STEM students had higher levels of increased anxiety due to COVID-19. Female and F/Sp STEM students had higher levels of motivation, whereas junior/senior (J/S) and male students exhibited higher levels of confidence. Time series analysis of the data indicated that the levels of motivation and confidence significantly dropped toward the end of the semester, whereas the level of anxiety increased in all groups. Also, the use of math resources (such as tutoring and supplemental instruction) has significantly reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, Volume 17, Issue 2, May 2022, Article No: em0684

Publication date: 03 Mar 2022

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