Gauging Students' Emotional State amidst Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Mode

Keywords: DASS-21, Open and Distance Learning, Structural Equation Modelling


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide has led Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) management to move all classes for its campuses nationwide to an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode starting April 2020. Since then, the shift has brought mixed feelings of distress and uneasiness, and symptoms of mental distress can be seen among students through comments and status updates shared on various social networking sites. The researchers found it significant to investigate students’ emotional states during ODL mode by measuring their scores on depression, anxiety and stress levels using the DASS-21 questionnaire. Primary data was employed involving 848 UiTM Cawangan Pahang students whereby descriptive statistics and Structural Equation Modelling were used to analyze the data. The findings indicated that there existed positive significant effects of stress and anxiety towards depression (β1 =.704, p-value < 0.001; β2 =.113, p-value < 0.01) with 62% total variation explained. The stress factor contributed more effects towards depression compared to the anxiety factor. The findings are aimed to provide new knowledge and discoveries on the issues related to students’ mental health, as well as to offer some insights on how the university’s relevant authorities could assist the students in dealing with the problems.

Author Biographies

Hazlin Hasan, UiTM Cawangan Pahang

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Management

Sharifah Norhuda Syed Wahid, UiTM Cawangan Pahang

Senior Lecturer, College of Computing, Informatics and Mathematics UiTM Teknologi MARA Cawangan Pahang

Khairunisa Nikman, UiTM Cawangan Pahang

Senior Lecturer, Academy of Language Studies

Azwan Shah Aminuddin, UiTM Cawangan Kelantan

Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Management

Nurfarawahidah Badruesham, UiTM Cawangan Pahang

Senior Librarian, Al-Bukhari Library