The Effects of Online Learning Experience During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students’ Satisfaction, Adjustment, Performance, and Loyalty

Evidence from Poland


  • Michał Wilczewski University of Warsaw
  • Oleg Gorbaniuk John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
  • Terry Mughan Portland State University
  • Ewelina Wilczewska SWPS University in Warsaw



international students, online learning, academic adjustment, academic performance, student satisfaction, university support, COVID-19


This research investigates the student online learning experience (SOLE) during the 2020 spring Covid-19 pandemic. We collected quantitative data through an online survey from 362 international and 488 domestic students at a large Polish University. Correlation and path analysis within a conceptual model of SOLE and its academic outcomes established that (1) SOLE explained adjustment, performance, satisfaction, and loyalty, (2) academic adjustment predicts performance, satisfaction, and loyalty, (3) that academic performance and satisfaction predict student loyalty, and (4) that academic performance predicts satisfaction. Interestingly, time spent in quarantine/self-isolation did not exert any effect on academic outcomes in SOLE. Moreover, qualitative data collected via narrative interviews with 13 international and domestic students developed our understanding of SOLE and its outcomes. We propose some research and practice implications for universities to enhance SOLE.

Author Biographies

Michał Wilczewski, University of Warsaw

Michał Wilczewski, PhD, is Associate Professor of the Faculty of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland. He maintains an active research agenda with a particular focus on intercultural communication in international business and intercultural experiences of international students, business expats, and missionaries. Email:

Oleg Gorbaniuk, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Oleg Gorbaniuk, PhD, is Associate Professor of the Institute of Psychology at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. His research focuses on social perception, psycholexical studies, methodology, and consumer behavior. Email:

Terry Mughan, Portland State University

TERENCE MUGHAN, PhD, is Adjunct Faculty at the School of Business, Portland State University, Oregon, USA. His major research interests lie in the area of languages in international business, intercultural communication and international management. Email:

Ewelina Wilczewska, SWPS University in Warsaw

Ewelina Wilczewska, MA, is an MA psychology student at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland. Her interests center around psychological aspects of intercultural experiences and studying foreign languages. Email:


Al-Harthi, A. S. (2005). Distance higher education experiences of Arab Gulf students in the United States: A cultural perspective. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 6(3). DOI:

Black, J. S., Mendenhall, M. E., & Oddou, G. (1991). Toward a comprehensive model of international adjustment: An integration of multiple theoretical perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 16(2), 291–317. DOI:

Bretas, V. P. G., & Alon, I. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on franchising in emerging markets: An example from Brazil. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 39(6), 6–16. DOI:

Broadbent, J., & Poon, W. L. (2015). Self-regulated learning strategies & academic achievement in online higher education learning environments: A systematic review. Internet and Higher Education, 27, 1–13. DOI:

Cao, T. Q., & Chieu, Q. K. (2021). To return or not to return. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 2166–3750. DOI:

Chandra, T., Ng, M., Chandra, S., & Priyono. (2018). The effect of service quality on student satisfaction and student loyalty: An empirical study. Journal of Social Studies Education Research, 9(3), 109–131.

Commodari, E., & La Rosa, V. L. (2020). Adolescents in quarantine during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: Perceived health risk, beliefs, psychological experiences and expectations for thefuture. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 559951. DOI:

Dib, H., & Alnazer, M. (2013). The impact of service quality on student satisfaction and behavioral consequences in higher education services. International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences, 6(2), 285–290. DOI:

Fischer, K. (2020). Confronting the seismic impact of Covid-19: The need for research. Journal of International Students, 10(2), i–ii. DOI:

Forbes-Mewett, H. (2020). Vulnerability and resilience in a mobile world: The case of international students. Journal of International Students, 10(3), ix–xi. DOI:

Gerdes, H., & Mallinckrodt, B. (1994). Emotional, social, and academic adjustment of college students: A longitudinal study of retention. Journal of Counseling & Development, 72(3), 281–288. DOI:

Gibson, C. C. (Ed.). (1998). Distance learners in higher education. Atwood.

Harms, C. M., Niederhauser, D. S., Davis, N. E., Roblyer, M. D., & Gilbert, S. B. (2006). Educating educators for virtual schooling: Communicating roles and responsibilities. Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de Communication, 16(1–2), 1–16.

Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55. DOI:

Jelińska, M., & Paradowski, M. B. (2021). Teachers’ perception of student coping with emergency remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic: The relative impact of educator demographics and professional adaptation and adjustment. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 648443. DOI:

Johnson, R. D., Gueutal, H., & Falbe, C. M. (2009). Technology, trainees, metacognitive activity and e-learning effectiveness. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24(6), 545–566. DOI:

Jones, H. J., & Wolf, P. J. (2001). Teaching a graduate content area reading course via the Internet: Confessions of an experienced neophyte. Reading Improvement, 38(1), 2–9.

Kapasiaa, N., Paulb, P., Royc, A., Sahac, J., Zaveric, A., Mallickc, R., Barmanc, B., Dasc, P., & Chouhanc, P. (2020). Impact of lockdown on learning status of undergraduate and postgraduate students during COVID-19 pandemic in West Bengal, India. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 1–5. DOI:

Lowe, H., & Cook, A. (2003). Mind the Gap: Are students prepared for higher education? Journal of Further and Higher Education, 27(1), 53–76. DOI:

MacDonald, C. J., & Thompson, T. L. (2005). Structure, content, delivery, service, and outcomes: Quality e-Learning in higher education. In International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (Vol. 6, Issue 2). Athabasca University Press. DOI:

Marks, R. B., Sibley, S. D., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2016). A structural equation model of predictors for effective online learning. Journal of Management Education, 29(4), 531–563. DOI:

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (2021). Persistence & Retention.

Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir, A., Iosifidis, C., Agha, M., & Agha, R. (2020). The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review. International Journal of Surgery, 78, 185–193. DOI:

OECD. (2013). Education Indicators in Focus. 2013--N°14 (eng)-Final.pdf

Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (1980). Predicting freshman persistence and voluntary dropout decisions from a theoretical model. The Journal of Higher Education, 51(1), 60. DOI:

Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Poyrazli, S., Arbona, C., Bullington, R., & Pisecco, S. (2001). Adjustment issues of Turkish college students studying in the United States. College Student Journal, 35(1), 52.

Rienties, B., Beausaert, S., Grohnert, T., Niemantsverdriet, S., & Kommers, P. (2012). Understanding academic performance of international students: The role of ethnicity, academic and social integration. Higher Education, 63(6), 685–700. DOI:

Rovai, A. P. (2003). A practical framework for evaluating online distance education programs. Internet and Higher Education, 6(2), 109–124. DOI:

Sitzmann, T., Kraiger, K., Stewart, D., & Wisher, R. (2006). The comparative effectiveness of web-based and classroom instruction: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 59(3), 623–664. DOI:

Suhre, C. J. M., Jansen, E. P. W. A., & Harskamp, E. G. (2006). Impact of degree program satisfaction on the persistence of college students. Higher Education 2006 54:2, 54(2), 207–226. DOI:

Turkyilmaz, A., Temizer, L., & Oztekin, A. (2018). A causal analytic approach to student satisfaction index modeling. Annals of Operations Research, 263(1–2), 565–585. DOI:

UNESCO. (2020). Education: From disruption to recovery.

van Rooij, E. C. M., Jansen, E. P. W. A., & van de Grift, W. J. C. M. (2018). First-year university students’ academic success: The importance of academic adjustment. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 33(4), 749–767. DOI:

Verduin, J. R., & Clark, T. A. (1991). Distance education: The foundations of effective practice. Jossey-Bass.

Wiers-Jenssen, J., Stensaker, B., & Grøgaard, J. B. (2002). Student satisfaction: Towards an empirical deconstruction of the concept. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 21(1), 183–195. DOI:

Wilczewski, M., Gorbaniuk, O., & Giuri, P. (2021). The psychological and academic effects of studying from the home and host country during the Covid-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 644096. DOI:



How to Cite

Wilczewski, M., Gorbaniuk, O., Mughan, T., & Wilczewska, E. (2021). The Effects of Online Learning Experience During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students’ Satisfaction, Adjustment, Performance, and Loyalty : Evidence from Poland. Journal of International Students, 12(3), 694–715.



Research Articles (English)