Effects of the Pandemic Situation COVID19 on Learning and Social Research Processes: Preliminary Results of a Qualitative Exploratory Study with Postgraduate Students at a Portuguese Higher Education Institution


  • Sandra Saúde Instituto Politécnico de Beja e CICS.NOVA – Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais, Portugal
  • Ana Isabel Rodrigues Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Portugal




COVID-19, Effects on Learning, Effects on social research, Higher Education, Postgraduate training


The lockdowns combined with the rules of physical and social distance imposed, all over the world in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic situation resulting from COVID19, profoundly changed the societal and interpersonal relationship dynamics. Among the set of human activities affected stands out the learning process, which was forced to move from a predominantly face-to-face to online format. Additionally, and especially for those who develop social research, this change has added the challenge of adapting the research processes, which, in the social area, are structurally based on the richness of interaction with the object of study, preferably direct and in-person. To understand how such significant changes influenced the learning and research dynamics, a study was developed, with an exploratory and qualitative profile, with students in postgraduate training at a Portuguese Higher Education Institution. For this purpose, were collected, online in two different time periods, descriptive narratives of their opinion on the effects of the experienced situation. The thematic categorical content analysis carried out, with the exploratory complement of the T-LAB software, allowed to conclude that for the students, in analysis, the situation had a negative influence on the processes of learning and research development. The breach of full social experience forced very individualized and much more demanding learning and research paths in terms of organization, motivation, and personal resilience. Added to this greater demand are the difficulties felt in matching the academic work with the family life, and, above all, with the collateral effects of fear and/or sadness resulting from the maintenance of the pandemic situation for so long.


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How to Cite

Sandra Saúde, & Ana Isabel Rodrigues. (2021). Effects of the Pandemic Situation COVID19 on Learning and Social Research Processes: Preliminary Results of a Qualitative Exploratory Study with Postgraduate Students at a Portuguese Higher Education Institution. New Trends in Qualitative Research, 9, 66–78. https://doi.org/10.36367/ntqr.9.2021.66-78