Online learning and fun to enhance enjoyment and retention in Higher
Education during COVID-19

Okada, Alexandra (2022). Online learning and fun to enhance enjoyment and retention in Higher
Education during COVID-19.
In: Dias, Paulo and Freitas, João Correia de eds. Digital, Distance and Networked Education. Portugal: Universidade Aberta de Portugal, pp. 111–123.



Recent studies highlight that the key challenges in Education will be improving students’ retention and performance. UNESCO indicated that COVID-19 virus affected more than 1,5 billion of learners, which refers to 91.4% of total enrolled learners in 192 country-wide closures.

Understanding the components that influence students’ enjoyment of online learning is the key objective of the project OLAF – Online Learning And Fun. Although there is a growing body of research about students’ engagement with distance education, a research gap exists concerning the value of fun in online learning to promote students’ pleasurable experience with successful achievement. This work describes the OLAF methodology underpinned by RRI – Responsible Research and Innovation and open science which was implemented in the UK and will be used in various studies in Brazil. This exploratory study focused on 190 participants (109 women) from Higher Education from different universities in Brazil members of Colearn Community including undergraduates, postgraduates, teaching staff, educational consultants and institutional policy makers. Findings indicated that the majority agreed that online learning should be fun and only 5% believed that fun within learning could take the focus off their studies and result in distraction. In addition, principal component analysis revealed 3 groups: socio-constructivist learning with fun; constructivist learning with no fun and transmissive learning with fun that disturbs.

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