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The COVID-19 pandemic caused nearly ubiquitous emergency remote teaching in both secondary and post-secondary education. While there has been a plethora of work examining how instructors adjusted classes to incorporate active learning during emergency remote teaching, there has only been minimal work examining how such emergency remote teaching may have influenced students’ perceptions of active learning. Here, we conduct a longitudinal multi-cohort study at one institution across nine semesters before, during, and after emergency remote teaching due to the pandemic to explore how college students’ familiarity and perceptions of active learning have shifted over time because of the pandemic. Our results reveal decreases in familiarity with active learning during emergency remote teaching, with familiarity remaining lower than pre-COVID even after the end of emergency remote teaching. In addition, our results indicate shifts in students’ perceptions of active learning, leading to potentially higher student resistance to active learning following emergency remote teaching. We conclude by discussing implications for instructors to better support active learning and promote engagement in active learning classes following the end of emergency remote teaching.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Active Learning in Higher Education in 2024 following peer review. This article may not exactly replicate the final published version. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.

sj-docx-1-alh-10.1177_14697874241230992.docx (19 kB)
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