Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the emotional and cognitive experiences of social work students in Israel

Liat Shklarski, Yaara Paz, Yael Latzer, Kathleen Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions worldwide transitioned to remote learning. These transitions continue to create difficulties and dilemmas for students and instructors. The challenges surrounding the remote teaching of helping professions, such as social work, have been particularly pronounced and have impacted the student learning experience. This study aimed to examine the emotional and cognitive experiences of 150 Israeli social work students who transitioned to remote learning during the spread of COVID-19. Students’ emotional adjustment to remote learning was assessed using the Kübler-Ross five emotional stages of grief. The findings highlight students’ mixed emotions. Despite more than half of respondents stating that remote learning negatively impacted teaching quality and made it difficult to achieve the same level of intimacy as in-person practice classes, most participants recognized the advantages of remote learning and were open to it in the future. The current study looks at emergency remote learning as a new phenomenon influencing the future of social work teaching policies, creates a foundation for understanding the complexity of remote learning in the social work profession, and offers opportunities to learn from experience and engage in further research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Work Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Social work studies
  • coping with stress
  • learning experiences
  • remote learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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