Annotated bibliography: Topic: Mindfulness and education/Mindfulness and academic performance The purpose of this annotated bibliography assignment is for you to start to prepare for the final researc

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Annotated bibliography:

Topic: Mindfulness and education/Mindfulness and academic performance

The purpose of this annotated bibliography assignment is for you to start to prepare for the final research paper by reading 5 articles on your chosen topic and writing an annotation (summary) on each article. The

summary should not be the abstract

; it should be more detailed. (I’ve attached 8 articles that could be helpful for this topic, you can chose any 5 of them, or add different ones if you want to.)

Each annotation should be approximately

250-500

(double-spaced, 12-point font) words and should include the following information:

– Reference

– Annotation which includes

o   A couple of sentences describing the background/problem to be studied

o   Relevant theory or model if applicable

o   What gap does this study fill?

o   Purpose of the study

o   Specific hypotheses (if available)

o   Research design

o   Participants

o   Types of measures or instruments; if qualitative identify type of variables (independent; dependent; mediator; moderator etc.)

o   Procedures (online measures administered; experiment carried out; qualitative interviews)

o   Type of analysis used (described in general terms)

o   Findings (make sure they alight with research questions

o   How does this add to the literature?

o   Strengths and Weaknesses

o   Your own thoughts on how this paper adds to the other studies (e.g., only experimental or qualitative study; adds to other cross-sectional research; first to study in x population, why the paper is or is not particularly valuable in understanding the topic etc.).

– APA FORMAT

You will be graded on the extent to which your annotations include the relevant information as described above. This includes your ability to pull out relevant information about your study as well as, importantly, your ability to reflect on the paper in terms of your own thoughts on the paper.

Annotated bibliography: Topic: Mindfulness and education/Mindfulness and academic performance The purpose of this annotated bibliography assignment is for you to start to prepare for the final researc
Research Article https://doi.org/10.12973/eu -jer.11.2.681 European Journal of Educational Research Volume 11 , Issue 2, 681 – 69 5. ISSN: 2165 -8714 http://www. eu -jer .com/ Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning on Psychology Students Valentyna Voloshyna * National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, UKRAINE Inna Stepanenko National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, UKRAINE Anna Zinchenko National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, UKRAINE Nataliia Andriiashyna National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, UKRAINE Oksana Hohol National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, UKRAINE Received: November 21, 2021 ▪ Revised: December 27, 2021 ▪ Accepted: January 15, 2022 Abstract: The purpose of the study was to identify what neuropsychological effect online learning ha d on psychology students and how it c ould be moderated. The study was descriptive and combined qualitative and quantitative methods to address the research questions. The study relied on three phases such as baseline study, experiment, and reporting. The experiment utilised neuropsychology tests adopted from the NeurOn platform. It was found that the Psychology students’ perceptions of e -learning and their emotional reaction to them were found no t to be appreciative. The practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga were proved to be able to moderate the impact of online learning on the experimental group students’ attentional capacities, memor y processes, and cognition abilities. The abov e findings were supported by the results obtained for the neuropsychology tests and the experimental group students’ self -reflections yielded from the use of the MovisensXS App. The students confirmed that breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga reduced st udy stress and burnout caused by e -learning and improved their academic performance. The focus group online discussion also showed that integration of breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga helped the experimental group students keep emotional balance, concentrate on their studies easier, remember more information, and meet deadlines in completing assignments. The education scientists are suggested to study how the e -learning curriculum could be reshaped so that it used relaxation practices on regular ba sis. Keywords: Higher education, neuropsychological impact, online learning, psychology students . To cite this article: Voloshyna , V., Stepanenko , I., Zinchenko , A., Andriiashyna , N., & Hohol , O. (20 22). Moderating the neuropsychological impact of online learning on psychology students . European Journal of Educational Research, 11(2), 681 -695. http s://doi.org/ 10.12973/eu -jer. 11 .2.681 Introduction A global pandemic has provided a never -before -seen boost to online learning and instruction in higher education (Jayalakshmi, 2021; Shahzad, et al., 2020). That sudden change led to an instructional and technological shift in learning science which is seen as a convergence of three fields such as neuroscience, education research, and cognitive psychology (Perdue, 2021). Rasheed et al. (2020) and Barrot et al. (2021) also relate that unforeseen enhancement of online learning to five challenges which are students’ self -regulation skills, the technological literacy, and competency of both students and teachers, the isolation of students, technological sufficiency of institutions, students and teac hers, and technological complexity of generating, shaping and measuring (assessing) knowledge. The above suggests that taking advantage of fully home -based online learning requires students to build resiliency skills, adopt new learning strategies across d iverse learning contexts and technological means, and surmount challenges. However, recent studies show that fully home – based online learning causes mental health problems in students such as anxiety, frustration, and inconvenience (Copeland et al., 2021; Fagan, 2021; Marroquín et al., 2020). The college and university students complain about being forced to adjust to online learning which results in significant distress that affects their mood, thinking, and behaviours. These mental states and behaviours a re related to brain activity and the rest of the nervous system, and these are studied within neuropsychology. The studies on the neuropsychological impact of online learning are still limited and the studies * Corresponding author: Valentyna Voloshyna, National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Kyiv , Ukraine .  [email protected] © 20 22 The Author(s). Open Access – This article is under the CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ). 682  VOLOSHYNA ET AL. / Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning on the neuropsychological impact of online lear ning on preservice psychologists – those who are aware of how to adjust themselves to new learning setup – were not found. This inspired the research and created a gap to address. Literature Review The Psychological and Instructional Perspective of Online Learning The literature reveals that a global pandemic challenged the approaches to perform the process of teaching -learning online (Barron et al., 2021; Lemoine et al., 2021; Zalat et al., 2021). American Psychological Association (APA) , when highlighti ng the psychological perspective of the problem, emphasised the pronounced effects of the pandemic on students’ mental health and wellbeing which hindered their educational attainment and outcomes (APA, 2020). Marziali and Lu (2021) reported the increased depression and anxiety rates amongst college and university students worldwide. Alam et al. (2021) found that computer -mediated learning and emotional intelligence caused substantial study stress and burnout in students which resulted in academic underperf ormance. Son et al. (2020) state that there is a need for developing psychological interventions and preventive strategies to cope with the effects that COVID -19 has on the mental health of college students. Instructionally, the global pandemic is reshapin g the online learning mode dramatically. The teachers move from face – to-face to technologised and individualised teaching. It was found the attempt to automate e -learning at higher education institutions. Lychuk et al. (2021) share their best practice of t he use of automation of the teaching -learning process via the use of the Smart Sender Platform. Bobrytska et al. (2020) highlighted the benefits of the use of the Dialogflow chatbot in the Moodle LMS -based course. The automation of the instruction was reported to optimise the students’ cognitive load, reduce the dropout rate, and increase learning engagement and motivation ( Bobrytska et al., 2020; Lychuk et al., 2021) . Ortiz and Levine (2021 ) presented their finding s on fully online occupational training of psychology undergraduates which was reshaped to be delivered within the university -based counselling and assessment training centres that provide telehealth psychological services to the public. Neuropsychology o f Online Learning Generally, the studies on the neuroscience of learning categorise learning into skill learning and intentional learning. Skil l learning relies on long -term, semantic, implicit memory. Intentional learning is based on long -term, semantic, explicit memory. Both skill learning and intentional learning are functionally regulated by the frontal lobe of the brain. This area of the brain is proved to be influenced by digital learning (Belham, 2018; Bresciani Ludvik , 2016; Fred , 2020). In the abov e context, the neuropsychological assessment aims at assessing the entirely cognitive processes such as attention and concentration capacities, verbal and visual memory capacity, processing of auditory and visual information, visual – spatial functioning. It also tests language and reading skills, sensory development and integration, gross and fine motor development, development of social skills, executive functioning, and emotional and personality development of the individual (Neuro Assessment and Developme nt Center, 2021). The neuropsychology of online learning studies positive and negative influences of e -learning on learners. Jozefowiez (2012) indicates that the e -learning mode benefits students mentally – it fosters their ability to concentrate better, reduces peer pressure, ensures flexibility in the use of individualised intellectual stimuli by the instructor. However, it causes changes in the functioning of the brain and social cognition abilities in learners because of the increased multi – tasking, cog nitive overload that leads to the overconsumption of metabolic energy ( Firth et al., 2019). Firth et al. (2019) opine that e -learning negatively influences the social cognitive abilities of the learners. Takeuchi et al. (2018), and Loh and Kanai (2016) indicate that those changes in the brain – such as a reduction of volume of the cortex and a decrease of grey matte r in the individual’s prefrontal areas – lead to the impediment of the information processing speed of learners when they search, locate, and read the online content. Johnson (2020) argued that the e -learning mode that was conducted throughout a pandemic imposed stress on the students . That s tress caus ed them to release stress hormones such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol which impaired students’ brain functions related to learning. Liu et al. (2018) found that the verbal intelligence and visual system of the learners are also impacted by the e -learning mode of study. Since, online learning has proved to cause emotional disorders, such as depression or anxiety, it seems to be the very case when medical practitioners recommend administering neurop sychological tests to figure out the preventive measures (Bhargava, 2020). The literature review found no research on the neuropsychological impact of online learning on Psychology students. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to identify what neuropsy chological effect online learning has on psychology students and how it can be moderated. The research questions are as follows: a) how students perceive their e -learning experiences b) how the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderate the impact of online learning on students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities с) how the experimental group students perceive the intervention. European Journal of Educational Research  683 Methodology The study was descriptive and combined qualitative and quantitative methods to address the research questions (McLeod, 2019). It lasted from October 2020 till June 2021. The study relied on three phases such as baseline study, experiment, and reporting. Th e baseline study phase attempted to answer the research question concerning students’ perceptions of their distance learning experiences. This research phase relied on the s urvey data yielded with the questionnaire that was designed by the authors (see App endix A). The experiment utilised neuropsychology tests adopted from NeurOn (NeurOn, 2021). These instruments were chosen because they were digitalised, recommended for both clinicians and researchers, and used by a number of well -established institutions which prove d that they were reliable. The tests were used to measure experimental group students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities before and after the intervention. In the experimental phase, the study also used the experi ence sampling method (Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). This was to involve the sampled students in the reporting on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in different settings such as before doing their studies online, after the classes, after they pra cticed breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. The data were collected using the MovisensXS App for Android smartphones (Movisens, 2021). In this phase, the focus group online discussion was also administered to address the third research question which aimed at exploring the experimental group students’ perceptions and attitudes towards the intervention. The Otter automatic speech -to-text transcription application was used to process the participants’ responses to the questions (Otter, 2021). The reporti ng phase involved data systematical consolidation and organisation so that data c ould be interpreted and analysed by the research team. The Design of the Experiment The study used a quasi -experimental design. Its experiment part was a flow of five steps. These were as follows: 1) completing the screening form (see Appendix B); 2) forming the experimental group (EG) and control group (CG) each consisting of 25 students ; 3) pre -intervention measurements – administration of the nine online tests such as Alternate Tapping (AT) Test, Cancellation Test, Star Counting Test, Spatial Working Memory Test – Backwards, Sustained Attention to Response Test, Trail Making A Test, Pic ture Encoding Test, Picture Recognition Test and Digit Span – Backwards on the NeurOn platform; 4) involvement of EG students in performing breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga for 15 min before and after the online classes. Along with these, they rep orted on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in different settings using the MovisensXS App for Android smartphones (See Fig. 1). Figure 1. Abstract Instruction Management Scheme to Reduce the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning of the Psychology Students (Note: BE – Breathing exercises; M – Mediation; Y – Yoga) Importantly, the CG performed their e -learning as they commonly did. 5) after -intervention measurements – after the semester the nine online neuropsychological tests are administered again. These w ere as follows: Simple Reaction Time (SRT) Test, Fragmented Letter Test, Virtual Supermarket Test, Spatial Working Memory Test – Forwards, Sustained Attention to Response Test, Trail Making B test, Word Encoding Test, Word Recognition Test, and Digit Span – Backwards Test. Experimental group Ss’ perceived influence of e-learning on their attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities BE M Y M Y Motor function Tests -identified Neuropsychological impact Visuospatial search Working memory function Episodic memory recognition Executive function Processing speed and task switching Episodic memory encoding Attention and inhibition Online classes BE 684  VOLOSHYNA ET AL. / Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning Sampling The random sampling technique was used in the baseline study phase. In this phase, the link to a survey questionnaire on how students perceive their e -learning experiences was sent to 249 university students majoring in Psychology at National Pedagogical D ragomanov University (NPDU) (Ukraine), Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University (BGKU) (Ukraine) , State University of Infrastructure and Technologies (SUIT) (Ukraine) and National Aviation University (NAU) (Ukraine) . Seventy -six responses were excluded from the an alysis because they either lacked students’ consent or reported students’ specific health problems. The demographic features of the respondents are presented in Table 1. Table 1. Demographic Features of the Respondents Surveyed in the Baseline Study (n=173) Demographic features NPDU BGKU SUIT NAU Mean SD Age 18 -19 21 (26.25%) 22 (27.50%) 18 (22.50%) 19 (23.75%) 18.60 0.489 20 -21 16 (28.57%) 15 (26.78%) 12 (21.42%) 13 (23.22%) 20.39 0.488 22 -23 12 (32.43%) 9 (24.32%) 11 (29.72%) 5 (13.52%) 22.59 0.490 Gender Males 13 (25.49%) 17 (33.33%) 12 (23.52%) 9 (17.64%) 12.75 2.861 Females 31 (25.41%) 34 (27.86%) 28 (22.95%) 29 (23.77%) 30.50 2.291 The convenience sampling method was used to select undergraduates from National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (NPDU) and State University of Infrastructure and Technologies (SUIT) to participate in the experiment. The sampling procedure for the interve ntion used the Screening Form (see Appendix B) designed by the Department of Psychology for National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. The link to the form was shared with the students through the Viber and Telegram messengers. It also included informatio n about the purpose of the experiment and addressed ethical consideration requirements. Additionally, the students were informed that participation in the intervention earned them additional credit points in the Psychology course. Importantly, the form ser ved as the set of selection filters to discover wh ich of the students are eligible to participate in the intervention as well. Those criteria were as follows: a) the age was expected to be between 19 and 21; b) right -handed; c) not suffering from any heari ng problems, or neurological difficulties, or movement limitations or mental handicaps; d) not diagnosed with any learning disability of neurological nature, or attention -deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or psychiatric illness. Fifty undergraduates aged 18 -21 ( , ) were selected to form the experimental group (EG) and control group (CG) each consisting of 25 people. The EG group involved 25 students for National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (NPDU) and the CG consisted of 25 undergraduates majoring in P sychology for State University of Infrastructure and Technologies (SUIT). The homogeneity of both groups in academic efficiency was identified by calculating the grade point average (GPA). The GPA value for the EG was 3.47 and it was 3.52 for the CG which meant that the groups could be considered comparable. The pre – intervention measurements were also administered using neuropsychology tests which proved that the groups were homogeneous. Ethical Considerations The sampled students were sent Letters of Infor mation and Consent to Participate in a Research Study. By these, the students were provided with the information that revealed the purpose and procedure, estimated outcomes, and possible discomforts or risks associated with practicing breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga in the educational intervention. Following th at, the students signed the consent form to indicate that they made the informed decision to enter into the study at the intervention point. Any personal information and students’ identity were only accessed by the research team to ensure confidentiality and anonymity. The draft of the survey questionnaire on how students perceive d their e – learning experiences was examined several times to ensure that it d id not consist of discrimin atory or offensive wording (Goodwin et al., 2019). Instruments The study addressed the research questions through the use of the s urvey questionnaire on how students perceive d their e-learning experiences , a set of neuropsychology tests, and the focus group online survey. The data that were collected with the survey and tests were analysed using the Jamovi computer software (Version 2.0.0) (Jamovi Project, 2021). Survey Questionnaire on How Students Perceive their E -learning Experiences The questionnaire, which is in Appendix A , and can be accessed via the link https://forms.gle/jqaMQQWoRU1o9jGx8 , consisted of 23 close -ended questions to cover the demographic features of the respondents including inf ormation about their health problems that they were aware of, their p erceived attentional capacity, perceived learning success in e – learning settings, perceived study load and perceived emotional states. Questions 12 to 23 used the Likert 5 -point rating scales such as “Frequency Scale”, “Degree of difficulty scale”. The face validity, construct validity, content validity and the inter -rater reliability of the questionnaire were performed following Rodrigues et al . (2017) and Taherdoost (2016) . The content validation was performed by five members of the research team and three volunteer colleagues. The val ue for European Journal of Educational Research  685 the item -level content validity index (IL -CVI) was 0.836. This was greater than the critical value (0.75) for the number of experts like this and meant “good agreement”. The face validity and construct validity of the questionnaire were also found b y the experts as good and appropriate for the study (Taherdoost, 2016) . The inter -rater reliability was performed by five raters – three members of the research team and two volunteer colleagues – who used the 4 -point relevance scale. The Fleiss’s Kappa co efficient was 0.640 which meant “substantial agreement” of the raters on the relevance of questions in the questionnaire (Polit & Beck, 2006). The questionnaire was set up with Google Forms and then administered to university students. A psychometrist was hired to interpret some results of the survey. Neuropsychology Tests The study used a set of neuropsychology tests designed by the NeurOn team (NeurOn , 2021). The tests were administered online at pre -experimental and post -experimental phases in both EG and CG. The instrument comprised 16 tests. These were as follows: 1) Alternate Tapping Test (based on the B.R.A.I.N test), 2) Cancellation Test, 3) Digi t Span – Backwards, 4) Fragmented Letter Test, 5) Picture Encoding Test, 6) Picture Recognition Test, 7) Simple Reaction Time Test, 8) Spatial Working Memory – Backwards, 9) Spatial Working Memory – Forwards, 10) Star Counting Test, 11) Sustained Attention to Response Test, 12) Trail Making A Test, 13) Trail Making B Test, 14) Virtual Supermarket Test, 15) Word Encoding Test, 16) Word Recognition Test. The distribution of tests is shown in Table 2. Table 2. Tests Used at Pre -Experimental and Post -Experimental Phases and Brain Functions They Cover Brain function Pre -experimental phase Post -experimental phase Motor function Alternate Tapping (AT) Test Simple Reaction Time (SRT) Test Visuospatial search Cancellation Test (CT) Star Counting Test (SCT) Fragmented Letter Test (FLT) Virtual Supermarket Test (VST) Working memory function Spatial Working Memory Test – Backwards (SWMT -B) Spatial Working Memory Test – Forwards (SWMT -F) Attention and inhibition Sustained Attention to Response Test (SART) Sustained Attention to Response Test (SART) Processing speed and task switching Trail Making A Test (A-test) Trail Making B Test (B -test) Episodic memory encoding Picture Encoding Test (PET) Word Encoding Test (WET) Episodic memory recognition Picture Recognition Test (PRT) Word recognition test (WRT) Executive function Digit Span – Backwards (DS) Digit Span – Backwards (DS) Overall, the tests are cross -sectional and cover participants’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities. The AT test and SRT test are both used with the same purpose – to test participant s’ motor functions. Both tests calculate scores for how well each hand of the participant manifests kinesia, bradykinesia, akinesia, dysmetria, and incoordination. The tests aim to identify any movement disorder. The visuospatial search tasks – the Cancellation Test, the Star Counting Test, the Fragmented Letter Test, and the Virtual Supermarket Test – are to diagnose an early visual disorder in participants. The Spatial Working Memory Test – Backwards and the spatial working memory test – Forwards are based on the Corsi block test (Berch et al., 1999). The tests provide the data on fronto -parietal cortex functioning. The Sustained Attention to Response Test (SART) is supposed to detect the frontal lobe symptoms in participants through testing their attention and higher executi ve functions. The Trail Making A & B Tests are to identify the participants’ processing speed and task switching, as well as their attentional resources and motor function. The tests that are used to identify the encoding and memory performance – the episo dic memory encoding test and the word encoding test – are based on the tasks that are related to memorising a series of everyday high -frequency words, which are then displayed on some side of the computer screen. The participants’ episodic memory recogniti on is tested through the Picture Recognition Test and Word Recognition Test. Both tests aim at identifying contextual or source memory for the memorised words. The Digit Span Test – Backwards is to examine the higher executive and working memory functions of the participants which are related to the performance of their frontal lobe zones. The testing system provides the statistical results for the tests as an Excel file instantly. In the context of the study, t he neuropsychology tests were accepted as the ones that were validated by default by the NeurOn team. Focus Group Online Discussion Questions Nine randomly selected EG students were selected to participate in the focus group online discussion. It relied on 5 open – ended questions and took more than an hour. The questions were as follows: 1) How do you feel overall about integrating breathing exer cises, meditation, yoga into online studies at university? Suggest examples to illustrate your experience. 686  VOLOSHYNA ET AL. / Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning 2) Can you describe your positive and negative experiences of participation in the updated model of online studies at university? What caused, if any , negative impressions, and how they can be addressed in the future? Provide your reasoning. 3) What, in your view, were the purposes of integrating breathing exercises, meditation, yoga into online studies? Did they help you concentrate, remember, and pro cess information more efficiently? Suggest examples to illustrate your answers. 4) Do your think the integration of breathing exercises, meditation, yoga into online studies at universities can help in coping with the negatives of e -learning? 5) How the te aching model that is based on the use of breathing exercises, meditation, yoga in online studies can be made more student responsive? Three research team members moderated and facilitated the discussion. Other research team members transcribed it using the Otter speech -to-text application. The students’ responses were coded and analysed. The procedure of identifying the coding reliability was performed in accordance with Syed and Nelson (2015). It relied on the data -driven approach which was supposed to use the construction of a coding scheme that was based on the collected data. The verbatim interview transcript was then divided into the interview question -related themes. The draft of a coding manual was designed. Two coders, who were graduates from Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University and State University of Infrastructure and Technologies, were randomly selected and trained to use the coding manual to avoid confusing interpretations. The coders coded the data individually, then they met for the consensus meeting online. Following that, the Cohen’s Kappa reliability coefficients were calculated. The index value for in ter -coder reliability was 0.655 meaning ‘substantial agreement’ between the raters. Results The study attempted to address three research questions. The first research question was aimed at identifying how students perceived their e -learning experiences. T he purpose of the second research question was to identify how the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga influence students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities while they perform online learning. The third que stion was addressed via the focus group discussion that was intended to find how the experimental group students perceive the intervention. Results Drawn from the Baseline Study The data yielded for the survey were analysed manually and using the Jamovi computer software (Version 2.0.0). Since the questionnaire consisted of filter questions and questions to collect the demographic data, the further analysis only used the data that answered the first research question. The analysis reveals the stude nts’ perceptions of their suitability for e -learning, study workload, e -learning aspects, and their emotional reaction to them. The analysis of Q7 and Q8 suggested that 75.4% of the respondents were sure that they were suitable students for the e -learning and 64.3% of students were certain that they did their best to be successful in e -learning. More than two -thirds (68.4%) of the surveyed students reported that they spent 5 -6 hours daily on online classes and 54.7% of the students showed that they spent th e same amount of time on doing assignments. The psychometrist, who was hired to interpret the collected data, proved that the students over limited time on their studies. The descriptive statistics for the questions that used Likert scales are presented in Table 3. Table 3. Descriptive Statistics Drawn from the Survey for the Questions That Used Likert Scales 95% Confidence Interval SD Skewness Shapiro -Wilk Mean SE Lower Upper Skewness SE W P Q6 1.91 0.0561 1.80 2.02 0.738 0.5776 0.185 0.914 < .001 Q11 2.30 0.0403 2.22 2.38 0.530 0.8553 0.185 0.875 < .001 Q12 3.90 0.0560 3.79 4.01 0.737 -0.1078 0.185 0.936 < .001 Q13 3.69 0.0522 1.59 1.79 0.687 0.4946 0.185 0.874 < .001 Q14 2.65 0.0555 2.54 2.76 0.729 0.1116 0.185 0.942 < .001 Q15 1.84 0.0467 1.75 1.94 0.614 0.1015 0.185 0.869 < .001 Q16 3.79 0.0500 3.69 3.89 0.658 0.2491 0.185 0.885 < .001 Q17 1.83 0.0481 1.73 1.92 0.632 0.1556 0.185 0.878 < .001 Q18 1.55 0.0474 1.46 1.64 0.623 0.6861 0.185 0.932 < .001 Q19 1.53 0.0516 1.42 1.63 0.678 1.1488 0.185 0.920 < .001 Q20 1.57 0.0500 1.47 1.67 0.657 1.3442 0.185 0.911 < .001 Q21 3.84 0.0548 3.73 3.95 0.721 0.0655 0.185 0.927 < .001 Q22 4.32 0.0498 4.23 4.42 0.655 -0.4515 0.185 0.869 < .001 Q23 3.97 0.0528 3.87 4.07 0.694 0.0385 0.185 0.905 < .001 European Journal of Educational Research  687 As can be seen in Table 3, the Mean values for every question skewed either left or right which meant students’ negative perception. The value for Q6 (M=1.91, SD=0.0561) indicated that the students rated their experience with online learning as the one tha t ‘did not meet their expectations at all’ or ‘somewhat met their expectations’. Concerning Q11, the values (M=2.30, SD = 0.0303) implied that students considered the assessment to be the one that lacks transparency and is confusing or too strict. The resp onses to Q12 (M=3.90, SD=0.0560) showed that students were often worried about their academic performance when they study online and they had a difficult time with controlling their study workload (Q13 – M=3.69, SD=0.0522, and Q16 – M=3.79, SD=0.0500). The respondents could just sometimes meet deadlines, according to values for Q14 (M=2.65, SD=0.0555) and they needed the effort to control their irritation during online classes that caused stress (Q15 – M=1.84, SD=0.0467, and Q17 – M=1.83, SD=0.0481). The va lues for Q18, Q19, Q20, Q21, Q22, and Q23 suggested that the respondents faced difficulties with concentration and speed of processing information (Q18 - M=1.55, SD=0.0474, Q19 – M=1.53, SD=0.0516, Q20 – M=1.57, SD=0.0500, Q21 – M=3.84, SD=0.0548, Q22 – M= 4.32, SD=0.0498, Q23 – 3.97, SD=0528). The above data suggested that the biology of the learning and brain capacity needed change and this inspired the use of breathing exercises, meditation, yoga in the online studies to address the issues. Intervention The ANCOVA test was used to measure how the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderate the impact of online learning on the EG students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities were based on neuropsychology tes ts. The results of the pre -test measurements were used as a covariate. The results of the analysis are presented in Table 4. Table 4 : Results of Measurements Performed Before and After the Intervention based on the ANCOVA test , EG ( ), and CG ( ) ANCOVA – Post -test Sum of Squares Mean Square Overall model 17940 2 8969.9 152.4 < .001 Pre -test 16885 1 16884.5 286.9 < .001 0.897 0.891 Treatment 1055 1 1055.2 17.9 < .001 0.056 0.053 Residuals 883 15 58.8 As can be seen in Table 4, the value for the proportion of the variability (η²) for the Pre -test and Post -test tends to be 1 meaning that the relationship between the two is sufficient, (Navarro & Foxcroft, 2021). Furthermore, it could be deemed by Cohen ’s guidelines that the value for treatment ( ) showed a medium effect size with 5.6% of the variance caused by the intervention independent variable (Eddy, 2010). As detailed in the Post Hoc Comparisons Table (see Table 5), the Mean Difference values ( = –15.3, SE = 3.62) proved that there was an improvement in the brain functioning of the EG students due to the use of breathing exercises, meditation, yoga in e - learning. Table 5. Post Hoc Comparisons Based on Mean Values Drawn from Neuropsychological Tests Comparison Mean Difference p 95% Confidence Interval Treatment Treatment Lower Upper As usual Intervention –15.3 3.62 15.0 –4.23 < .001 –2.00 –3.27 –0.726 Note. Comparisons are based on estimated marginal means The -value ( ; ) also implied that the EG students experienced a more significant improvement in their motor function, visuospatial search, working memory function, attention and inhibition, processing s peed and task switching, episodic memory encoding, and recognition, and executive function. The effect size was also significant, , which supported the assumption that the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderate the impact of online learning on the EG students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities. The above data were supported by the EG students’ self -reflections yielded from the use of the MovisensXS App. They confirmed that breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga reduced study stress and burnout caused by e -learning and moderated their academic performance. 688  VOLOSHYNA ET AL. / Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning Focus Group Online Discussion Question 1. The students reported that integrating breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga helped them keep emotional balance, concentrate on their studies easier, remember more information, and meet deadlines in completing assignments. Some illustrative quotes were as follows: ‘…before I started breath ing exercises prior and after the classes, it was hard for me to focus and retain information but then I became confident that I can manage all these assignments in time…’ ‘…since I did a part -time job, my life was getting more and more difficult. I was ab out to quit my job so that I could study, but yoga changed me dramatically. Now I feel motivated to do my online classes and assignments…’ ‘… I thought my study workload was unaffordable and unmanageable, but after a month of regular 30 -minute meditation I processed information twice as fast as before and my study workload seemed just OK to me …’ ‘… before taking part in the experiment I spent 8 -9 hours a day on my assignments and I was furious, anxious, sleepy, and very tired of learning and literally wrin g down all the lectures I attended. After two months of doing yoga before and after the classes, the studies took me just 3 -5 hours a day and I remembered the lectures far better…’ Question 2. The students mentioned that they gained self -control of their thoughts, emotions, and learning efforts as their positive experiences and the need for training teachers in the use of technology as their negative experiences. The students’ quotes were as fo llows: ‘... I remember the delay with my grades for the completion of the module. After two weeks, my groupmates were in a panic, but me. I could control myself and help others…’ ‘… in the middle of the online course the number of assignments has increased substantially, I could hardly manage deadlines… My friends were frustrated, but I felt sure that I could deal with this… Yoga and breathing activities worked for me…’ ‘… some professors had problems with using online tools. Sometimes they used too many wh ich distracted me and made me lost in the course. …it was a crap…’ ‘... I often felt as if I was teaching myself…’ ‘… it would be better if the lecturers record their lectures and I had the opportunity to watch them several times at my convenience …’ The s tudents suggested training lecturers in online teaching and assessment to make it more transparent and less strict because these cause the greatest proportion of frustration. Question 3. The student’s view of the purpose of integrating breathing exercises, meditation, yoga into online studies was to influence the biology of learning and memory. They made sure that breathing exercises, meditation, yoga had helped them study more efficiently. Below are some students’ quotes: ‘… I was striving for excellence i n my studies but I had a difficult time concentrating and retaining information. Now, I feel I can do twice as much…’ ‘… I search and analyse information faster and more efficiently than I did before …’ Question 4. Students’ responses to this question sug gest that they support the idea of integration of breathing exercises, meditation, yoga into online studies at universities in the way these activities were used in the experiment. They stated that those activities can help the students to deal with the vi sual impairment, difficulties with concentration, and cognitive activity which they had when studying online. Question 5. The most frequent suggestions in participant responses were as follows: a) introduction of yoga or meditation schools for students; b) launching information campaigns aimed at popularising using breathing exercises, meditation, yoga in online studies; c) creating channels on YouTube and TikTok to share students’ experiences in practicing the above activities. Discussions The study attempted to gain a better understanding of, first, how students perceived their e -learning experiences, second, how the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderated the impact of online learning on students’ attentional capacities, memo ry processes, and cognition abilities, and third, how the experimental group students perceived the intervention. European Journal of Educational Research  689 The novelty of the study lies in the approach to monitoring students’ biology of the learning and brain capacity using the recently developed online tools which allow making the university study process more students responsive. One more strength of the study is in the use of breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderate the impact of online learning on students’ attentional capacities, memo ry processes, and cognition abilities. The study found that the students’ perceptions of their suitability for e -learning, study workload, e -learning aspects, and their emotional reaction to them were not appreciative. The analysis of Q7 and Q8 suggested t hat 75.4% of the respondents were sure that they were suitable students for the e -learning and 64.3% of students were certain that they did their best to be successful in e -learning. More than two -thirds (68.4%) of the surveyed students reported that they spent 5 -6 hours daily on online classes and 54.7% of the students showed that they spent the same amount of time on doing assignments. These were interpreted as the over -limit of time spent by students on their studies. The Mean values for every question s kewed either left or right which meant students’ negative perception. The value for Q6 (M=1.91, SD=0.0561) indicated that the students rated their experience with online learning as the one that ‘did not meet their expectations at all’ or ‘somewhat met the ir expectations’. Concerning Q11, the values (M=2.30, SD = 0.0303) implied that students considered the assessment to be the one that lacks transparency and is confusing or too strict. The responses to Q12 (M=3.90, SD=0.0560) showed that students were ofte n worried about their academic performance when they study online and they had a difficult time with controlling their study workload (Q13 – M=3.69, SD=0.0522, and Q16 – M=3.79, SD=0.0500). The respondents could just sometimes meet deadlines, according to values for Q14 (M=2.65, SD=0.0555) and they needed the effort to control their irritation during online classes that caused stress (Q15 – M=1.84, SD=0.0467, and Q17 – M=1.83, SD=0.0481). The values for Q18, Q19, Q20, Q21, Q22, and Q23 suggested that the re spondents faced difficulties with concentration and speed of processing information (Q18 - M=1.55, SD=0.0474, Q19 – M=1.53, SD=0.0516, Q20 – M=1.57, SD=0.0500, Q21 – M=3.84, SD=0.0548, Q22 – M=4.32, SD=0.0498, Q23 – 3.97, SD=0528). The most compelling expl anation for the above set of findings could be that the surveyed students were under academic pressure which the respondents associated with unreasonably excessive cognitive overload, limited flexibility, and emotional problems and fears. This pattern of r esults is consistent with Alam et al. (2021), Johnson (2020), and Bhargava (2020) who opine that in pandemic settings e -learning causes study stress, burnout, and decline in students’ academic performance. The above results provided supporting evidence of impaired students’ brain functioning related to learning which was found by Johnson (2020). One more key finding of the study is that the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderate the impact of online learning on the EG students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities. The value for the proportion o f the variability (η²) for the Pre -test and Post -test tends to be 1 meaning that the relationship between the two is sufficient, . Furthermore, it could be deemed by Cohen’s guidelines that the value for treatment ( ) showed a medium effect size with 5.6% of the variance caused by the intervention independent variable (Eddy, 2010). The Post Hoc Comparisons found that the Mean Difference values ( = –15.3; ) indicated an improvement in the brain functioning of the EG students due to the use of breathing ex ercises, meditation, yoga in e -learning. The -value (t = – 4.23; ) also implied that the EG students experienced a more significant improvement in their motor function, visuospatial search, working memory function, attention and inhibition, processing speed and task switching, episodic memory encoding, and recognition, and executive function. The effect size was also significant, which supported the assumption that the practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga moderate the impact of online l earning on the EG students’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities. The above data were supported by the EG students’ self -reflections yielded from the use of the MovisensXS App. They confirmed that breathing exercises, meditatio n, or yoga reduced study stress and burnout caused by e -learning and improved their academic performance. The focus group online discussion also confirmed that integration of breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga helped the EG students keep emotional b alance, concentrate on their studies easier, remember more information, and meet deadlines in completing assignments. The above data have an intervention -related implication such as the development of emotional stability in young people which seems releva nt in the settings of a computer -mediated learning environment. The implication is consistent with Alam et al.'s (2021), Barron et al. (2021), Hatzichristou et al. (2021), Pedditzi and Spigno (2019), and Quiroz et al., (2020) who found that there was a need for training students in controlling and mitigating stress situations and students lacked learning strategies that help them keep themselves mentally healthy. The study agrees with Bhargava (2020) who claimed that the administration of neuropsychological tests to young people to figure out the preventive measures is desirable. The present research, therefore, contributes to a growing body of evidence suggesting that digital learning affects brain functioning (Belham, 2018; Bresciani Ludvik , 2016; Fred , 2020). An immense of work remains to be done before a full understanding of the extent of influence of digital learning on learners’ brains is established. 690  VOLOSHYNA ET AL. / Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning Conclusion The Psychology students’ perceptions of e -learning and their emotional reaction to them were found not to be appreciative. The practices in breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga were proved to be able to moderate the impact of online learning on the experimental group students ’ attentional capacities, memory processes, and cognition abilities. The above findings were supported by the results obtained for the neuropsychology tests and the experimental group students’ self -reflections yielded from the use of the MovisensXS App. T he students confirmed that breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga reduced study stress and burnout caused by e -learning and moderated their academic performance. The focus group online discussion also showed that integration of breathing exercises, medita tion, and yoga helped the experimental group students keep emotional balance, concentrate on their studies easier, remember more information, and meet deadlines in completing assignments. Recommendations The practitioners are recommended to take a course or training in breathing, meditation, or yoga for at least half a year before they train students. They are also supposed to get aware of neuropsychology tests provided by NeurOn and learn to interpret the data they provide. The education scientists are suggested to study how the e -learning curriculum could be reshaped so that those integrated relaxation practices on regular basis. The avenue of further research could be on what preventive effect the optimi sed curriculum could have on students in terms of fatigue, predisposition to emotional disorders caused by the distance learning mode. Limitations The student s’ access to technology to complete the survey questionnaire, to take the NeurOn tests, and to use the MovisensXS App, as well as the availability of reliable internet could be relevant limitation s to the study. The application of criteria such as age, right -handedness, health issues imposed some more limitations to the study. Students’ majo r – Psychology, and the convenience sampling method that was used to select undergraduates for the study were likely to be a limitation. Acknowledgement We would like to express our sincere gratitude to students, lecturers, and experts for their timely and insightful contribution towards enhancing the reliability of findings, depth, and readability of the manuscript. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare having no conflict of interest of any nature. Authorship Contribution Statement: Voloshyna: Concept and design, data acquisition, data analysis /interpretation, drafting manuscript, critical revision of the manuscript, and statistical a nalysis. Stepanenko: Technical support, supervision, data acquisition, data analysis /interpretation. Zinchenko: Drafting manuscript, and critical revision of the manuscript. Andriiashyna: Data acquisition, data analysis /interpretation, and final approval. Hohol: Data acquisition, drafting manuscript, critical revision of the manuscript , and final approval. References Alam , F., Yang, Q., Bhutto, M. Y., & Akhtar, N. (2021). 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The experiences, challenges, and acceptance of e -learning as a tool for teaching during the COVID -19 pandemic among university medical staff. PLoS ONE , 16 (3), e0248758. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0248758 European Journal of Educational Research  693 Appendices Appendix A. Survey questionnaire on how students perceive their e -learning experiences (https://forms.gle/jqaMQQWoRU1o9jGx8) 1. Your age _____ 2. Your gender _____ 3. Are you left or right -handed? a) left -handed b) right -handed 4. Have you ever, or are you currently suffering from, had any of the below: a) hearing problems b) neurological difficulties c) movement limitations or mental handicaps d) none of the above 5. Have you ever been diagnosed with any of the below: a) learning disability of n eurological nature b) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder c) psychiatric illness d) none of the above 6. How would you rate your experience with online learning? a) does not meet my expectations at all b) somewhat meets my expectations c) just as I expected d) better than I expected 7. Do you consider yourself to be a suitable student for e -learning? a) Yes b) No 8. Are you certain that you do your best to be successful in e -learning? a) Yes b) No 9. How much time do you typically spend on online classes a day? a) 1 -2 hours b) 3 -4 hours c) 5 -6 hours d) more 10. How much time do you typically spend on home assignments a day? a) 1 -2 hours b) 3 -4 hours c) 5 -6 hours d) more 11. How do you feel about the assessment? a) It is fair b) It lacks transparency and is confusing c) It is too much strict d) It is OK for me 12. How often do you worry about your academic performance when you study online? a) never b) rarely c) sometimes d) often e) always 13. How often do you feel that you are unable to control your study workload? a) never b) rarely c) sometimes d) often e) always 14. How often do you manage meeting deadlines? a) never b) rarely 694  VOLOSHYNA ET AL. / Moderating the Neuropsychological Impact of Online Learning c) sometimes d) often e) always 15. How often do you fail to control your irritation during online classes? a) never b) rarely c) sometimes d) often e) always 16. How often do you delay the assignments or feel to be in a rush so that they were fulfilled on time? a) never b) rarely c) sometimes d) often e) always 17. How stressful has online learning b een for you since the pandemic started? a) very stressful b) somewhat stressful c) neither stressful nor stressless d) somewhat stressful e) not stressful at all 18. How easy is it for you to combine ideas from a number of different areas when you study online? a) not easy at all b) not easy c) neither easy nor difficult d) somewhat easy e) absolutely easy 19. How quick are you at analysing a complex situation that occurs in your online studies? a) not quick at all b) somewhat quick c) neither quick nor slow d) somewhat quick e) super quick 20. How difficult is it for you to concentrate when people talk to you? a) very difficult b) somewhat difficult c) neither difficult nor easy d) somewhat easy e) absolutely easy 21. How much are you distracted b y the sights and sounds when you study online? a) not distracted at all b) somewhat distracted c) I am OK d) somewhat distracted e) absolutely distracted 22. How often do feel confused and forgetful because you have so many things on your mind when doing the courses online? a) never b) rarely c) sometimes d) often e) always 23. How often do you feel that you make mistakes in online classes because you watch w hat others do and forget about yourself? a) never b) rarely c) sometimes d) often e) always European Journal of Educational Research  695 Appendix B. Screening form to select students for the EG and CG (can be accessed at: https://forms.gle/erxxcNaiAvkJDmyz9) By answering the questions below, you provide your consent to participate in the research experiment on the neuropsychological impact of online learning on Psychology students. In this way, you also provide your agreement to the research team to process and use your personal information for r esearch purposes. We would be grateful if you answer each question as accurately as possible. 1. Your age _____ 2. Your gender _____ 3. Are you left or right -handed? a) left -handed b) right -handed 4. Have you ever, or are you currently suffering from, had any of the below: a) hearing problems b) neurological difficulties c) movement limitations or mental handicaps d) none of the above 5. Have you ever been diagnosed with any of the below: a) learning disability of neurological nature b) attention -deficit/hyperactivity disorder c) psychiatric illness d) none of the above Annotated bibliography: Topic: Mindfulness and education/Mindfulness and academic performance The purpose of this annotated bibliography assignment is for you to start to prepare for the final researc Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=riie20 Innovations in Education and Teaching International ISSN: 1470-3297 (Print) 1470-3300 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/riie20 Impact of mindfulness meditation intervention on academic performance Jian Wei Lin & Li Jung Mai To cite this article: Jian Wei Lin & Li Jung Mai (2018) Impact of mindfulness meditation intervention on academic performance, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 55:3, 366-375, DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2016.1231617 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2016.1231617 Published online: 08 Sep 2016.Submit your article to this journal Article views: 14443View related articles View Crossmark dataCiting articles: 18 View citing articles InnovatIons In EducatIon and tEachIng IntErnatIonal, 2018 vol . 55, no. 3, 366–375 https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2016.1231617 Impact of mindfulness meditation intervention on academic performance Jian Wei Lin a and Li Jung Mai b ad epartment of International Business, chien hsin university, taoyuan, taiwan; bc ollege of g eneral studies, Yuan Ze university, t aoyuan, taiwan ABSTRACTSince the global research into mindfulness meditation (MM) is revealing many positive effects on everyday life for those who practise it, studying its effects on academic performance could be worthwhile. However, the duration of effects of MM on academic performance is still unclear. Thus, this study first investigates the MM influence on short-term and long-term academic performance. The relationship between the meditation depth and short- term academic performance is further explored. The experimental group received the MM intervention while the control group did not. Compared to the control group, the experimental group had better short-term academic performance but similar long-term academic performance. Within the experimental group, students with high meditation depth achieved better short-term academic performance than those with low meditation depth. Finally, the questionnaire results revealed that most students enjoyed the MM process and agreed that the intervention improves in-class learning efficiency. Introduction Mindfulness meditation Mindfulness means paying particular and deliberate attention, being present, and being non-judge - mental. (Adams, 2011; Kabat-Zinn, 1994). Mindfulness practitioners learn how to deliberately pay attention through regular practice of meditation that originates from Buddhist spiritual practices (Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer, & Toney, 2006; Bishop et al., 2004). Mindfulness meditation (MM) intervention in contemporary psychology has been adopted as an approach for increasing awareness and responding skilfully to mental processes (Bishop et al., 2004). By consistently and profoundly altering brain structure and function, MM improves the quality of both thought and feeling (Davidson & Lutz, 2008). Many studies have reported positive impacts of MM intervention on mental and physical health (Baer, Lykins, & Peters, 2012; Weare, 2012), including improvements in well-being, reducing worry, anxiety, distress, reactivity and bad behaviour, improving sleep and self-esteem, and boosting calmness, relaxation, self-regulation and awareness (Biegel, Brown, Shapiro, & Schubert, 2009; Bootzin & Stevens, 2005; Burke, 2010; Semple, Reid, & Miller, 2005; Singh et al., 2010; Weare, 2012). KEYWORDSMindfulness meditation; academic performance; empirical study © 2016 Informa uK limited, trading as taylor & Francis group CONTACT Jian Wei lin [email protected] InnovATIonS In EDuCATIon AnD TEACHIng InTERnATIonAL 367 Related works on the MM impact on academic performance Compared to studies of the influence of MM on mental and physical health, studies of the influence of MM on academic performance are relatively rare. However, Huppert and Johnson (2010) stated that the impact of MM intervention on academic performance is worthy of investigation. MM can be performed by students and teachers in widely varying contexts and has no negative effects (Burke, 2010; Kuyken et al., 2013; Semple et al., 2005; Weare, 2012). Incorporating MM intervention into classes is an ideal way to teach students how to pay attention while learning (napoli, Krech, & Holley, 2005). notably, some works argued that the academic performance of learners is improved during and immediately after MM practice (Beauchemin, Hutchins, & Patterson, 2008; Hall, 1999; Kember, 1985; Mrazek, Franklin, Phillips, Baird, & Schooler, 2013). For example, Hall (1999) showed that the academic performance of the meditation (namely experimental) group was considerably higher than that of the no meditation (namely control) group during the practice period. Mrazek et al. (2013) found that performance on a gRE reading comprehension test significantly improved after the participants com- pleted an intensive 2-week MM training programme. However, some researchers questioned whether a regular MM intervention exerts influence during the follow-up period (Hoffman, 2013; Hutcherson, Seppala, & gross, 2008). Hutcherson et al. (2008) stated that whether regular MM would exhibit more long-lasting effects remains unknown. Research aims Extensive and regular meditation training have shown improvements on cognitive performance (Cahn & Polich, 2006) and altered brain structure (Davidson & Lutz, 2008; Kang et al., 2013). In contrast, Zeidan, Johnson, Diamond, David, and g oolkasian (2010) reported that even brief mindfulness training (4 days of meditation training) can significantly enhance the ability to sustain attention. Thus, moderate MM training should affect cognition and learning for an extended period. Furthermore, Hoffman (2013) stated that how long the effects of a regular MM training programme would last is still blurred and deserves further investigation. However, few published studies to date have simultaneously examined the impact of MM intervention on both short-term and long-term academic performance. This study explores how long the effects of MM intervention would last on cognition and academic performance. In a 12-week experiment, students in the experimental group received MM training before teaching every week. The short-term and long-term effects of the MM intervention on academic per - formance were identified by individually analysing the learning outcomes of formative assessment (FA) (i.e. in-class quizzes or immediate test) and summative assessment (SA) (i.e. deferred test). FAs are continuously embedded in the teaching and learning process of a curriculum while SAs are used to check learning achievements at the end of the curriculum (Lin & Lai, 2013). This study also explored the relationship between the meditation depth level and the result of FAs within the experimental group. An experimental group (with MM intervention) was compared with a control group (without MM intervention) to answer the following research questions. • Q1. Does the FA outcome significantly differ between the experimental and control groups? • Q2. Does the SA outcome significantly differ between the experimental and control groups? • Q3. In the experimental group, do FAs significantly differ between the students with high-level MM and the students with low-level MM? Method Participants The experiment was administered to first-year university students. The students were randomly assigned to a control group (class) and an experimental group (class). As described in Tsai (2011), students in 368 J. W. LIn AnD L. J. MAI both classes were informed before the experiment that their class section would be partially provided with some instructional methods as an intervention. Students were free to change their class section to a section with a teacher they preferred. Additionally, neither class was informed whether they were the experimental group or the control group to avoid the Hawthorne effect, John Henry effect, or Halo Effect. The experimental group was exposed to MM intervention while the control group was not. All students in the experimental group lacked previous MM experience. The two groups were taught by the same teacher, who was a long-standing MM practitioner. Materials Students in the control and experimental groups studied the same subject, which was a computer science course called ‘Database Theory and Application’. The course comprised eight chapters, each of which was followed by a quiz. The content of each quiz primarily originated from the teaching materials. All students in both groups were taking the course for the first time. Experiment design and procedure The experiment was performed 2 h per week for 3 months. Basically, one chapter was taught within two hours of one week. Each two-hour lesson followed the five-step procedure. That is, for the experimental group, the five steps of one two-hour lesson were as follows: (1) students practised MM for 10–20 min before teaching (referring to Hall, 1999); (2) the teacher taught a chapter; (3) the teacher reviewed the chapter with the students for 5 min; (4) students then took an online FA on the chapter; (5) students received and reviewed the results. For the control group, the procedure was identical to that in the experimental group except for step 1. That is, the control group in step 1 was asked to self-review the chapter from the previous week for 10–20 min rather than engage in MM practice. Figure 1 shows the two stages of the experimental procedure. Stage 1 contained the teaching of chapters one to four and SA #1. After the completion of chapters one to four (i.e. from the 1st week to Figure 1. t he procedure of the experiment. InnovATIonS In EDuCATIon AnD TEACHIng InTERnATIonAL 369 the 4th week), the SA #1 was conducted in week six. Similarly, Stage 2 contained the teaching of chapter five to eight and SA #2. Chapters 5–8 were completed during weeks 6–10, and SA #2 was conducted in week 12. The postponement of SA #1 and 2 for two weeks was intended to investigate whether the MM has any effect in the follow-up period. Whereas quizzes were used to measure short-term academic performance, SA was used to measure long-term academic performance. These two repeated cycles (i.e. stages) were used to verify whether these two results on short-term and long-term academic performance are identical. The guide for MM for the experimental group The experimental group practised MM by using a basic sitting meditation technique, which stabilises the mind according to studies by Bishop et al. (2004) and Beauchemin et al. (2008). In MM training, the breath was used as a reference point for mindfulness in the present moment. Rhythmic breathing was also instructed to students which can help them to focus their mind and increases self-awareness (napoli et al., 2005). Specifically, students were first asked to sit and were given the option of keeping their eyes open or closed. Students were then instructed to focus attention at the nostrils where one feels the faint pressure of the ebb and flow of the breath by following their breath to develop calmness and stability. Inevitably, their attention wandered from the breath to other thoughts and feelings. The students were instructed to let these other thoughts go and allow attention to return to the breath. This process is repeated each time attention wanders. The students were further encouraged to apply the same general approach outside the class or before taking a test, using the breath as an anchor. Measures Formative assessment After being taught each chapter, students immediately took the corresponding quiz. Eight chapters had eight corresponding quizzes. To assure validity and reliability, two experts reviewed the content of each quiz, which was then tested by 26 students. Inappropriate questions were removed according to the corresponding difficulty and discrimination levels. Subsequently, each quiz individually had 9, 11, 12, 13, 10, 12, 14 and 13 multiple-choice questions and the Cronbach’s α values were .81, .79, .76, .80, .90, .82, .79 and .82, respectively. This study compared every quiz administered to the two groups to identify whether they differed significantly in FAs. Summative assessment To investigate whether the two groups differ significantly in long-term academic performance, this study compared the SAs of the two groups. The content of SA #1 came from teaching materials ranging from chapters one to four, while that of the SA #2 came from chapters five to eight. To assure validity and reliability of the two SAs, two experts reviewed the content, which was then tested by 26 students. Subsequently, inappropriate questions were removed according to the corresponding difficulty and discrimination levels, resulting in 40 and 33 multiple-choice questions and Cronbach’s α of .76 and .81, respectively. Questionnaire to measure meditation depth The questionnaire was a modified version of the ‘Cognitive and Affective mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R)’ (Feldman, Hayes, Kumar, greeson, & Laurenceau, 2007), which has demonstrated good inter - nal reliability in greeson et al. (2011) with a Cronbach α of .81. The revised questionnaire included nine questions based on a four-point Likert scale with the following options: 1 (Rarely/not at all), 2 (Sometimes), 3 ( often), or 4 (Almost always). The scores for the questionnaire ranged from 9 to 36. Three subscales were ‘Attention’ (three items), ‘Present Focus’ (three items), and ‘Awareness’ (three items). Questions 1–3 dealt with ‘Attention’. For example, consider Q1: It is easy for me to concentrate on what I am doing. Questions 4–6 were related to ‘Present Focus’. For example, consider Q6: I am able to focus 370 J. W. LIn AnD L. J. MAI on the present moment. Questions 7–9 were related to ‘Awareness’. For example, consider Q7: I can usually describe how I currently feel in detail. The Cronbach’s α of the whole revised questionnaire was .73, and the Cronbach’s α values for each subscale were as follows: attention (.76), present focus (.72), and awareness (.69). To further investigate whether different levels of meditation depth significantly impacted the FA within the experimental group, the experimental group was further split into two groups according to meditation depth. That is, before each FA, every student in the experimental group was asked to fill the questionnaire measuring the meditation depth. The questionnaire yields a single total score, whereby learners scoring high in the questionnaire have high meditation depth during practice. Student scoring above average were allocated to the high level (HL) meditation depth group while those scoring below average were allocated to the low level (LL) meditation depth group. Questionnaire to understand student satisfaction To understand student satisfaction, a questionnaire with a Likert scale ranging from 3 (agree) to 1 (disagree) was given to the experimental group at the end of SA #1 and #2, respectively. This simple questionnaire was based on Lin and Lai (2013) and further modified to evaluate student feelings about the MM intervention. Additionally, four students in the experimental group, including two students with HL meditation depth and two with LL meditation depth were randomly selected for interview to elicit the subjective perspectives. Results Comparison of formative assessment The investigation between the two groups The upper part of Table 1 shows the results of the t-test for FA 1 to 4 in Stage 1. The mean scores for FA 1 and 2 did not significantly differ between the experimental group and the control group. However, the score means of FA 3 and 4 of the experimental group are significantly higher than those of the control group. After spending longer practising MM, students gradually received MM benefits and reflected on their FA scores. The lower part of Table 1 shows the results of the t-test for FA 5 to 8 in Stage 2. The mean score for FA 5 did not significantly differ between the experimental group and the control group. However, the score means of FA 6, 7 and 8 of the experimental group are significantly higher than Table 1. t he independent samples t-test on each quiz. note: N: the number of students; notably, not all students attend the class regularly. *p < .05. FA # (conducted in week #) groupNMean SDt F a 1 (week 1) Experimental3151.61 24.64−1.89 c ontrol 1964.21 19.52 F a 2 (week 2) Experimental3444.62 19.13−1.66 c ontrol 1954.58 23.67 F a 3 (week 3) Experimental3453.18 17.44−2.05 * control 2641.06 23.22 F a 4 (week 4) Experimental2863.18 26.62 2.02 * control 2748.93 25.62 sa #1 ( the end of s tage 1) (week 6) F a 5 (week 7) Experimental3248.13 22.63 .17 c ontrol 2048.00 31.38 F a 6 (week 8) Experimental2649.62 24.89−2.07 * control 2936.32 23.05 F a 7 (week 9) Experimental3451.48 20.88 2.45 * control 2136.19 22.01 F a 8 (week 10) Experimental3668.23 24.92 2.05 * control 2754.19 29.08 sa #2 ( the end of s tage 2) (week 12) InnovATIonS In EDuCATIon AnD TEACHIng InTERnATIonAL 371 those of the control group. Repeated tests and quizzes consistently showed that the MM intervention significantly improved FA performance. Analysis of experimental group The experimental group was further divided into two groups, HL and LL, to identify the relationship between different levels of meditation depth and FA. The upper part of Table 2 shows the results of the t-test for FAs 1 to 4. The mean scores for FA 1 to 4 were all significantly higher in the HL group compared to the LL group. The lower part of Table 2 shows the results of the t-test for FAs 5 to 8. Except for FA 8, the score means of FAs 5 to 7 of the HL group are all significantly higher than those of the LL group. Although the repeated FAs were very similar, the HL group had better FA scores (i.e. short-term academic performance) compared to the LL group. Comparison of summative assessment Table 3 lists the results of the t-test for the two SAs. Mean scores on the two SAs did not significantly differ between the experimental group and the control group. These two identical results unveil that the experiment and control groups do not differ significantly on SA (i.e. long-term academic performance). Questionnaire to understand student satisfaction within the experimental group Among the 42 students in the experimental group, 38 and 42 valid questionnaires were collected before SA #1 and #2, respectively. Table 4 shows that the questionnaire results for SA #1 and #2 were very similar, revealing positive feedback for all the evaluated aspects. Table 2. t he independent samples t-test on quiz score. *p < .05. Quiz # groupNMean SDt Fa 1 ll1536.00 17.23−4.29 * hl 1666.25 21.56 Fa 2 ll1735.12 18.01−3.30 * hl 1754.12 15.45 Fa 3 ll1743.41 13.43−3.90 * hl 1762.94 15.63 Fa 4 ll1447.71 17.38−3.73 * hl 1478.64 25.60 sa #1 Fa 5 ll1633.75 18.93−4.62 * hl 1662.50 16.12 Fa 6 ll1333.08 14.36−4.51 * hl 1366.15 22.18 Fa 7 ll1742.47 20.34−2.58 * hl 1761.47 22.45 Fa 8 ll1861.78 20.88−1.12 hl 1871.56 30.60 sa #2 Table 3. t he independent samples t-test on the two sas. *p < .05. SA groupNMean SDt sa #1 Experimental 4262.98 21.14 .16 c ontrol 3556.57 17.46 sa #2 Experimental 4272.93 15.71 .02 c ontrol 3572.85 17.57 372 J. W. LIn AnD L. J. MAI Discussion and implication Comparison of formative assessment In stage 1, the two groups did not significantly differ in mean scores for the first two FAs. However, MM intervention gradually showed efficiency on the score means of FAs 3 and 4. Students needed time to adapt to the MM training and gradually obtain the associated benefits. In stage 2, the MM intervention improved efficiency in FAs 6, 7 and 8, but not in FA 5. Before receiving chapter 5 (or FA 5), the students had received no MM intervention for three weeks. Discontinuity in the MM may explain why mean scores for FA 5 did not significantly differ between the two groups. In an actual class, students tend to be inattentive at the beginning of class (e.g. chit-chat with class- mates, play mobile APP, or surf the internet) because students might just finish meals or come from another classroom. Although the control group had more time for self-review of previous learning material at the beginning of class, most students were too inattentive to review effectively. In contrast, the experimental group who received MM training at the beginning of class were able to focus on the moment (napoli et al., 2005). Hallaham and Kauffman (1991) stated that learning dis- turbances usually result from inability to concentrate, especially when learning process is lengthy. Even brief MM training can significantly enhance the ability to sustain attention (Zeidan et al., 2010). Students who can concentrate are better able to use existing knowledge effectively, better able to pay attention, and exhibit improved recall of teaching content (Hall, 1999). Weare (2012) also reported that students who are focused and ‘present’ are able to pay attention and can learn efficiently, contributing directly to the development of cognitive and academic performance. Improvements in academic performance are mediated by reduced mind wandering (Mrazek et al., 2013). Studies indicate that MM training is also useful for managing stress and improving concentration, which are support skills of learning strategy (Weinstein & underwood, 1985), and thus MM can be deemed as one of effective learning strategies. Through repeated experimentation, this study confirms that MM intervention directly helps improve short-term academic performance. Comparison of summative assessment none of the mean scores for the two SAs significantly differed between the experimental group and the control group. This result can be explained by the following. First, after the end of an intensive MM intervention programme (i.e. one practised over just a couple of weeks), the MM effect would not be long-lasting (Hoffman, 2013). Second, students were highly motivated to study for the SAs in order to pass this course. Thus, regardless of whether auxiliary instruction was provided, students would be expected to study harder for both SA #1 and #2. The stress of passing the SAs may dominate students’ achievements (Su, Yang, Hwang, & Zhang, 2010). The two main reasons for this phenomenon may explain why the two SAs to not differ significantly between the two groups. The experimental results of this study contradict n idich et al. (2011), who reported that meditating students who practised meditation programme at school for 12 min at the start and end of the school day for three months, had significantly better SA (i.e. posttest) on English and math subjects than students with no meditation practice. notably, although the overall duration of meditation practice Table 4. Questionnaire results. Before SA #1 Before SA #2 no Question MSD MSD 1 do you feel it is easy to practise MM? 2.3.62.4 .6 2 do you enjoy the process when practising MM? 2.3.52.3 .6 3 do you feel that MM intervention can help in-class learning 2.5.52.4 .5 4 Would you like to continue to practise MM in future? 2.5.52.3 .5 InnovATIonS In EDuCATIon AnD TEACHIng InTERnATIonAL 373 in nidich et al. (2011) was identical to that in our experiment (12  weeks), the meditation practice in n idich et al. (2011) (twice a school day) was more intensive (once a week), which may explain the contradictory results. Experimental group According to the questionnaire results, most students found it easy to practise MM, enjoyed the pro - cess, agreed that MM intervention can help in-class learning, and were willing to continue practising in future. These results agree with those of Huppert and Johnson (2010), namely, that most students reported enjoying and benefiting from the MM intervention and that most of them wished to continue to do so in future. Additionally, one interviewee with LL expressed that ‘mediation makes me sleepy’ while the other with LL said ‘My mind often wandered during MM, spinning out thoughts about the past and future. MM duration is too short for me to reach calmness’. one interviewee with HL expressed that ‘After MM practice, I felt calm, equanimous, and peaceful’ while the other with HL stated that ‘I felt I can be more focused and conscious on today’s lesson’. These phenomena may explain why the FA of students with HL was significantly better than the FA of those with LL. The depth of medita- tive experiences can be determined by the amount of meditation practice (Hölzel & o tt, 2006). That is, students who practised MM frequently in their spare time might have the deep meditation depth (i.e. felt more focused) during in-class MM practice, while others might have shallow meditation depth (i.e. felt sleepy). Conclusion The literature agrees that MM positively affects academic performance. However, the persistence of the effect of MM on academic performance remains unclear. This study aims to understand the effect of MM intervention on short-term and long-term academic performance. Within the experimental group, the effect of meditation depth level on the result of short-term academic performance is also explored. The experimental results showed that MM significantly improves short-term academic performance (i.e. in-class quiz score) but does not significantly improve long-term academic performance (i.e. the SAs). Additionally, students with high meditation depth have better short-term academic performance than those with low meditation depth. The questionnaire results reveal that most students enjoyed the MM process and agreed that MM intervention can help in-class learning. Although the measured outcome data obtained by the FA are quite objective, a limitation of this study was the use of a questionnaire to measure meditation depth. Specifically the self-report ques- tionnaires might be prone to certain response biases, e.g. social desirability bias, leading to an overes- timation of the effects of one variable (i.e. meditation depth) on another (i.e. the result of FA). Finally, this study only focused on the quantitative analysis of MM effect on academic performance. Future research can extend the research scope and explore the influence of MM on learning behaviours and activities using quantitative or alternatively qualitative analysis. Disclosure statement no potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. Notes on contributors Jian Wei Lin is a faculty member of the Department of International Business at Chien Hsin university, Taiwan. His research interests include instructional design and e-learning. He has recently published an article entitled ‘The impact of an online project-based learning environment with group awareness support on students with different self-regulation levels: An extended-period experiment’ in the journal of Computers & Education. 374 J. W. LIn AnD L. J. MAI Li Jung Mai is a faculty member of the College of g eneral Studies at Yuan Ze university, Taiwan. Her research interests are on counselling psychology, counsellor training, and college mental hygiene. References Adams, J. (2011). To what extent does the practice of mindfulness help us control our emotions? Retrieved from http://www. mindfulnet.org/mindfulness%20and%20emotions.pdf Baer, R. A., Lykins, E., & Peters, J. R. 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Retrieved from http://www. enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/documents/impact-of-mindfulness–katherine-weare.pdf Weinstein, C. E., & underwood, v. L. (1985). Learning strategies: The how of learning. Thinking and Learning Skills, 1 , 241–258.Zeidan, F., Johnson, S. K., Diamond, B. J., David, Z., & g oolkasian, P. (2010). Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training. Consciousness and Cognition, 19, 597–605. Annotated bibliography: Topic: Mindfulness and education/Mindfulness and academic performance The purpose of this annotated bibliography assignment is for you to start to prepare for the final researc Accele ra tin g t h e w orld 's r e searc h. M in dfu ln ess P ra ctic e s i n O nlin e L earn in g: S u pportin g L earn er S elf - R eg u la tio n Agnie szka (A ga) P ala la s, C hris tin a K ara ka nta T he J o urn al o f C onte m pla tiv e In quir y ( 7 )1 C it e t h is p aper Get t h e c it a tio n in M LA , A PA , o r C hic ag o s ty le s Dow nlo aded f ro m   Academ ia .e du   R ela te d p apers M in dfu ln ess in O nlin e a nd B le nded E ducatio n A nasta sia M avra ki C onte m pla tiv e M in d in H ig her E ducatio n T he 1 1 t h A nnual A CM HE C onfe re nce K ir s te n M undt D is sert a tio n P ro posal: A N A UT OET HNO GRAPHIC I N Q UIR Y A BO UT W HAT T RANSFO RM S I N T RANSFO R … La ure l T ie n D ow nlo ad a P DF P ack o f t h e b est r e la te d p apers    Mindfulness Practices in Online Learning: Supporting Learner Self-Regulation Agnieszka Palalas, Anastasia Mavraki, Kokkoni Drampala, Anna Krassa, Christina Karakanta Athabasca University This collective autoethnography discusses the eects of mindfulness practices integrated into an online Master of Education course at a Canadian Distance Education university. While the M.Ed. program is designed to address challenges typically associated with online courses, such as spatial and temporal distance, lower levels of synchronous interaction with peers and instructors, balancing exibility and autonomy, as well as feeling isolated, the authors initially found themselves overwhelmed by the pressures stemming from competing responsibilities and emotional demands of being an online learner. They report on how the mindfulness practices, introduced mid-way through the program, impacted their online learning experience and their personal lives beyond the program. One of the key aspects of the marked growth was their improved self- regulated learning (SRL) skills that are essential for online learners. The chief mindfulness-supported habits that the authors found to positively aect the forethought, performance, and self-reection processes were enhanced intrinsic motivation, self-awareness, and a mindful approach to time management. T his autoethnographical report reects on our learning in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program at a Canadian online university be - tween September 2016 and April 2018. During that time, we partic - ipated in ten online courses that culminated with e-portfolio artifact s and presentations. We, four graduates of the program, report on the eects of mindfulness practices in online learning as experienced by the student and explored under the guidance of our instructor, Dr. Aga. She intro - duced us to these contemplative practices which signicantly impact ed our online learning experience and our lives beyond the program—prac - The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 7(1). (2020). © The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. 248 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 tices that helped us to better connect on an emotional, meta-cognitive, psychological, and creative level and to fully listen to our selves and oth- ers, practices that helped us be aware, be with the pleasant or unpleasant without fear, with choice, always in the midst of change. The M.Ed. program is housed at Athabasca University (AU), a dis - tance learning university of 50 years and one of the world’s leading open universities. The program’s primary focus is on “learning that helps stu - dents overcome the barriers of time and space” (Athabasca University, 2020). All M.Ed. courses are oered online employing a variety of learn - ing platforms and communication tools to enable exible yet connected learning. The M.Ed. and Ed.D. programs at AU are designed to address challenges typically associated with online courses, including but n ot limited to spatial and temporal distance; lower levels of synchronous i n- teraction; balancing exibility and autonomy; and feeling isolated an d overwhelmed, especially when new to digital learning (Palalas, 2017 ). The M.Ed. program opened its doors to a cohort of students from Greece; we were amongst the group who joined in 2016. In the fall of 2017, we joined Dr. Aga’s course, Introduction to Mobile Learning (“the M-learning course”). Dr. Aga had taught us earlier M.Ed. courses, but this one was unique in that it was redesigned to include mindfulness strate - gies. Dr. Aga was exploring how mindfulness strategies, already proven successful across a variety of face-to-face educational contexts (Ba rbezat & Bush, 2014; David & Sheth, 2009; Palalas et al., 2018, p. 87), could be incorporated into online environments to enhance the digital lea rning experience. Selected mindfulness-based practices (described below) were employed to support student metacognitive skills and rst-pe rson investigations through which to foster awareness, concentration, a nd in- sight by way of critical self-inquiry and connection with others. As demonstrated herein, these practices positively aected our experience during and beyond the course, both in our personal and professional lives. We ensured rigour and accuracy when analyzing our experience to avoid negative eects of “mindfulness hype” (Van Dam et al., 2018). In retrospect, it took time to develop and fully appreciate some new mind habits enabled by these practices. The perceptions presented in this article have been enriched by the perspective of time; our story MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 249 chronicles the evolution of these perceptions from before the M-learn ing course until the completion of this article. One of the key aspects of our growth was the improved learner self-regulation skills that are essential for online learners (Wong et a l., 2019). This article highlights the importance of self-regu lated learning (SRL; dened below) in our Distance Education (DE) experience and how mindfulness practices supported various aspects of SRL. The reporte d ndings arose from the dialogue on experiences documented in our personal journals, individual self-inquiries, group discussio ns, and the process of writing two collective autobiographies. DEFINITION OF MINDFULNESS The denition adopted for this study was put forth by Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994) who introduced a secular-clinical mindfulness-based stress re - duction (MBSR) intervention in 1990. He dened mindfulness as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p. 145), inviting us to give full intentional attention to the here and now (including the surroundings , our feelings, emotions, and their impact), and to be open and accept - ing to whatever comes up. Kabat-Zinn (2003) also distinguished seven attitudinal foundations of mindfulness practice, namely, non-judg ing, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and lett ing go. Well-designed mindfulness practices “at their root [have] p ractices in strengthening attention” (Goleman & Davidson, 2017, p. 30 6). Mind- fulness requires regular “mind training” through mind-body practic es such as mindful breathing, yoga, meditation, art, dance, and more (Er - gas, 2019). Paying attention out of choice is particularly important in t he online learning space where our minds are distracted and overwhelmed by numerous competing stimuli, oen deliberately designed to grab our attention without consent (Levy, 2016; Palalas, 2018). MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN THE M-LEARNING COURSE Our experience and reections stem from the M-learning course—one of the electives in the online M.Ed. program, which comprised te n 13-week courses and culminated in an e-portfolio. The course invited students 250 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 to experience rsthand M-learning pedagogy, technology, and instruc - tional designs, oering a cross-platform option of accessing it both on tethered computers and mobile devices. There were seven units, two individual and two collaborative assignments, seven discussion fo rums, and four 90-minute synchronous Adobe Connect sessions, which stu - dents were encouraged to attend in real time; they were recorded for those who could not participate in the live events. The course had been rened in its last three iterations to incorporate evidence-based mindfulness-based activities and resources, both asyn- chronous and synchronous. The teaching and learning strategies had been updated to create an inviting virtual space where students wou ld feel connected yet unrestricted, challenged yet supported—a meeting place characterized by openness, exibility, and responsibility for on e’s own learning. Dr. Aga guided us through our learning journey, raising the bar and gradually removing scaolds whenever we were ready. The course design was imbued with her caring presence. It was underpinned by the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Ar - cher, 2001), a process-oriented approach that promoted higher lev els of cognitive, teaching, and social (including emotional) pre sence. Based on collaborative constructivist principles, the course design suppor t- ed students in gradually becoming self-directed learners wit h strong self-regulation skills. That required consistent learner partici pation in dis- cussion forums and interaction through group activities (communicat ion and collaboration) leading to knowledge co-creation (Vygotsky, 198 0). Once predominantly asynchronous, with advancements of technology and shis in online pedagogy, online learning has increasingly blended synchronous and asynchronous spaces and opportunities to harmon ize individual and collaborative learning. Dr. Aga actively guided us in th e process and monitored our individual progress to gauge learners’ read - iness to become increasingly autonomous so that some scaolding and supports could be progressively removed. The main mindfulness practices included the following: • introduction to mindfulness concepts and practice through a Mindfulness Discussion Forum and two synchronous meetings , including resources, discussions, and group inquiry; MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 251 • three- to 10-minute meditation at the opening of live sessions followed by debrieng, check-ins, and intention setting; • selected practices from the Greater Good in Action website (https://ggia.berkeley.edu ), mainly loving-kindness, mindful breathing, raisin meditation, body scan, walking meditations, and pausing for individual practice outside of the class time with encouragement/reminders for daily practice; • self-reection through journaling, notes to self, and self-inquir y prompted by questions regarding individual understanding of authentic meaningful learning; • mindful listening and speaking practices (small group guided activities in live sessions); • creating a safe online learning environment based on collective understanding of “safe” and an invitation to trust the process, trust self-knowing, and trust the learning community, guided by “exible structure” that oers space for individual learning and guideposts to motivate and show the direction; • virtual reminders, questions to ponder, and encouraging notes (via reminder.com); • digital wellness tools to minimize distraction and focus atten - tion on “the now ” and the task at hand (e.g., a reminder to close all the other soware windows when in the Adobe Con - nect session; negotiated oine time for “digital detox” with no expectation from the students or teacher to be online); • invitation to exercise choice based on awareness of self and cir - cumstances (e.g., choice of assignment topics, format, and due date extensions); • mindful feedback from the instructor based on dialogue and inquiry; • “mindful, respectful, and relational language to express mes - sages of support, gratitude, and compassion, balanced out with constructive feedback and critique” (Palalas et al., 2018, p. 88). 252 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 More detailed description and discussion of these practices is avail - able in Palalas et al. (2018). SELF-REGULATED LEARNING Self-regulated learning (SRL) skills, explored in traditional learn ing con- texts since the 1980s (e.g., Zimmerman,1989), have been also viewed as critical in online learning that is characterized by higher levels of learn er autonomy and physical absence of the instructor (Lehmann, Hähnlein, & Ifenthaler, 2014). Zimmerman (2008), a key researcher of the notion, de - scribed SRL as “the self-directive processes and self-beliefs that ena ble learners to transform their mental abilities, such as verbal aptitude, in to an academic performance skill, such as writing” (p. 166). Zimmerman ob - served that these proactive processes “stem from advantageous motiva - tional feelings and beliefs as well as metacognitive strategies” (p. 167 ). To activate these processes, learners need “personal initiative, pe rsever- ance, and adaptive skill” (p. 167). Panadero (2017) advocated for a holis - tic approach when considering SRL and its many dimensions, including cognitive, metacognitive, behavioral, motivational, and emotiona l, and how they interrelate to aect learning. While there are various models of SRL, the cyclical phases model by Zimmerman and colleagues (Zimmerman, 2000; Zimmerman & Campil - lo, 2003) has been most common in the digital learning literature (Palalas & Wark, 2020; Wong et al., 2019). Underpinned by social cognitive theory, the model comprises three phases: forethought, performance, and self-reection. It emphasizes “both motivational factors and lea rn- ing strategies in highly autonomous learning environments” (Wong et al., 2019, p. 357) such as online learning. The model underwent some renements in Zimmerman and Moylan (2009) and the resultant three cyclical phases included the following processes: • forethought: task analysis (i.e., goal setting and strategic plan - ning) and self-motivation beliefs (i.e., self-ecacy, outcome expectations, intrinsic interest/value, goal orientation); • performance: self-control processes (i.e., task strategies, self-instruction, imagery, time management, environmental MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 253 structuring, help-seeking, interest incentives, self-conse - quences) and self-observation (i.e., metacognitive monitoring, self-recording); • self-reection: self-judgment (i.e., self-evaluation, causal at tri- bution) and self-reaction (i.e., self-satisfaction/aect, ada ptive/ defensive). Through these phases, learners self-regulate their learning meta - cognitively, motivationally, and behaviourally. We asked ourselves wh at new mind habits—attitudinal, emotional, or behavioural—we developed during the course that allowed us to successfully participate in these SR L processes. We then documented our own perceptions on how mindful - ness-based practices aected our self-regulation in learning. METHODOLOGY: COLLECTIVE AUTOETHNOGRAPHY The chosen methodology for this study was collective autoethnography, which combines characteristics from both autobiography and ethnog - raphy. It allowed us to describe and analyze our personal experiences, extending the analysis, and building on the literature and theory (Ben - nett & Folley, 2014). It gave voice to individual perspectives captured in original stories, in our case resulting in a collective account, to advan ce sociological understanding and extrapolate wider social, politica l, and cultural meanings (Ellis, 1997, 2004; Wall, 2008). Autoethnography i s a transformative research that oers to science individuality and subje ctivi- ty; it requires vulnerability in order to change perceptions (Cus ter, 2014). Autoethnography has proven to be appropriate for this exploration as it fosters empathy, embodies creativity and innovation, eliminates bound- aries, invites and honors subjectivity, and provides therapeutic be nets. In this article, we describe our experience with mindfulness -based learning and teaching strategies implemented in an online course. The stories of the four of us have been combined and retold as a collective narrative. This shared experience commenced when Dr. Aga invited us to explore mindfulness and to approach the inquiry with curiosity and a “beginner’s mind,” to replace intellectual analysis with “rst perso n knowing,” and to document the experience and insights in a journal. An 254 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 invitation from Dr. Aga to co-write and present a conference paper fol - lowed, which marked the beginning of this collective autoethnographi - cal process. We contributed our insiders’ perspectives based on individu al jour- nal entries and observations collected over two years starting in Sep - tember 2017 as well as our group oral and written communication (via Skype, face-to-face, emails, text messages, and telephone). We held regular Skype meetings and engaged in co-writing our autoethnogra - phy using Google docs. Thus, the rst collective narrative was crea ted through retrospective inquiry, conversation, and re-examination o f con- cepts and understanding which led to iterative rewriting of our story. Excerpts from our personal learning journals and researcher notes were merged into a collective database that we subsequently analyzed for key themes through systematic debrieng, sharing, negotiating t he meaning of our observations, and interpretations (Chang, Ngunjiri, & Hern andez, 2016)—our rst dra was thus created. The dialogue continued when we met to co-present our rst paper on mindfulness at an academic confer - ence in Poland in April 2018. We dug deeper into our experiences when rehearsing the presentation, co-presenting, and answering audience questions. These shared events became a source of further sel f-reexive inquiries into the concepts, processes, and feelings related t o the use of mindfulness in online education. As more questions and insights a rose, we made a decision to continue with this inquiry process, which proved to be both challenging and empowering. We decided to co-write a sec - ond autoethnography that documented our ndings focusing on the ef - fects of mindful practices on learner self-regulation. Next, in our multiple rewrites of the dra, we revisited and scrupu - lously analyzed all data, our personal accounts and discussions recorded in our notes, versions of the manuscript, and communication to identif y any emergent habits that promoted our SRL. This joint analysis and wr it- ing process led to the distillation of three key themes representing our most common shared reections that culminated in collective conclu - sions expressed as one voice. MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 255 STUDENTS’ STORY Meet the Students Student 1 (S1): 39 years old, married, working mother of one ten-year old girl, husband with MS, usually collaborating with three to ve dierent organizations, located in North Greece. When I joined the M.Ed. program, it was because of in - ternal motivation. My job did not require me to, neither did I have any spare time. In fact, I had several doubts about it, and time management and nancial challeng - es were making me indecisive.…I made a call to ask if I could still enroll. When the secretary asked me if I was interested in the program, I felt awkward, not knowing the answer and I spontaneously answered: “I made the call, so I guess I want to take this program. Student 2 (S2): 36 years old, married, mother of two: an eleven- year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl, working part time online, loca ted in Central Greece. Self-improvement is a factor that plays a signicant role in my goal-setting. I aim at lifelong learning and being up-to-date in my eld. I considered this master’s pro - gram as a great opportunity to specialize in something new and learn about ways of integrating technology in my job. Also, I thought it was a great opportunity to broaden my teaching limits in multicultural environ - ments and pursue a better job position in distance edu - cation. The most interesting part, though, was that this program would be a step further to an academic career. I was always fascinated by research and the creativity of academic work, but, due to family obligations, I had put aside this part for long. Student 3 (S3): 31 years old, married, mother of a four-year-old boy, working full time in the public sector in the northern part of Greece. 256 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 A couple of years ago I decided that it was a good time to start a postgraduate program. Aer a long research, I found that the M.Ed. at Athabasca fullled all my crite - ria. It seemed very interesting as distance learning was new in my country. It was very challenging…I would have the opportunity to improve my oral and writing skills in English while also become familiar with a dier - ent educational system. Student 4 (S4): 42 years old, divorced, single mother of a sixteen- year-old boy, working full time as an elementary school teacher in Canada . I entered this M.Ed. program pushed mainly by external motivation. The “rewards” at the end of the program (an increase in pay and employment perspectives) were the initial driving forces. It had been dicult nancially to raise my son as a single parent and I wanted to be able to provide more for my family. The choice of a distance education focus was the result of potentially expanding and diversif ying my employment opportunities, while the acquisition of a master’s meant an increase in my pay as an educator and the ability to become an administra - tor. I was also fond of the idea of having a master’s title, which, too, would serve as a reward for my hard work. Embarking on the M.Ed. Journey Although we were experienced learners, early on in our DE journey we recognized a need to develop online-learning-specic skills to eect ive- ly meet the demands of the program. We needed to take responsibility, plan, monitor, and make strategic choices at each stage of the learning process, to a much greater extent than in traditional learning. The par - adox of the preconceived exibility of DE versus the actual scheduled deliverables, and the desired independence versus the reality of co - hort-reliance and interdependence, became obvious. The design of the M.Ed. courses encouraged us to learn deep and engage amply, and the resources and supports were there for us to interact with anytime any - where…but our own time and resources were running thin. MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 257 Before the beginning of the classes, I thought they would not be particularly dicult because the program was exible and without exams. However, the rst few weeks of my studies showed me how wrong my original assumption was. I started to realize that I had to devel - op a completely dierent way of learning. I understood what it meant for a class to be learner-centered and what it feels like to discover new knowledge. But that was not easy. I began to feel anxious. Due dates were close, and I did not have time to participate in the fo - rums while the use of the English language was delaying me. I decided (not without anxiety) that I had to lower my standards. (S3) From the very beginning of this master’s program, I real - ized the dierences between face-to-face and distance education…my patterns of studying had to be adjusted to the demands of the new learning environment. While the learner-centered approach allowed me to partici - pate more actively in the learning experience, I was also fully responsible for my success. Studying the materi - al was not enough. I had to upgrade my media litera - cies to maintain social interaction and, simultaneously, demonstrate my progress through constant writing in forums and assignments. I would not allow myself to ask for extensions, so I had to be exceptionally eective in time management. Fortunately, my internal motivation was extremely high. (S2) Today we had our rst meeting as a cohort. I got to meet the other students and asked our coordinator many questions. Overall, it seems like there’s a good support system in place, but I can’t lie that I’m a bit scared of the workload ahead aer hearing that some students spent 3 to 4 hours every day on the program. I don’t have that kind of time. How will I do it? (S4) 258 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 As we were struggling with competing demands on our time and energy, we found refuge in our integration into the Greek cohort—our own community in the new AU space. Before the M-learning Course Despite the established connection within the cohort, the onus was on individual students to t the online studies into our already busy lives—our family and professional obligations limited the time avail able for studying. Combined with the necessity to become procient at the digital channels of interacting with content and people, this led to an increase in our anxiety levels which hindered our learning experience. The program was designed to oer gradual progression and guidance marked by assignment due dates and discussion forum end dates, but we instead felt stressed by the deadlines which were weighing us down. In fact, one of us (S1) found it impossible to manage the challenges of work and study during the rst term: [T]hat period, I was facing several challenges at work. These made me experience sadness, fear, and uncertain - ty. Although I am very familiar with distance education, being a student in such a demanding program was a “mis - sion impossible” at that time. The combination of work and studying stress, turned to panic attacks that forced me to withdraw from one of the two courses. (S1)Adjust - ing to this new reality was particularly dicult; however, participating in group work and synchronous class ses - sions allowed us to become better acquainted, and grad - ually we started talking more outside the requirements of the program through Skype, Messenger, and phone. Soon enough, we were able to share information, reec - tions, and ways to support each other, and we agreed on the importance of self-regulating strategies to ameliorate the challenges we shared as DE learners. Everything started to improve when I rst met S2 during a collaborative assignment. We began to not only ex - MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 259 change information, concerns, and thoughts about the classes but also to help each other. At the begin - ning of the second term, I knew how I could better full my responsibilities. I decided that the only time I had were weekend evenings, since my two-year-old son at the time needed me, and I could rarely spare time for studying. I knew I had to plan all my work very carefully in the time I had. This intentional schedule improved my performance. (S3) Introducing Mindfulness Practices The mindfulness practices introduced by Dr. Aga in the M-learning course came as a surprise. We needed lots of guidance. With time and practice we experienced what was meant by present-moment awareness and insight which allowed us to uncover our true motives, manage our attention, apply more focused purpose to our learning, and approach the online learning experience with more agency and less anxiety. The consistent practice for the 13 weeks of the course, and beyon d (not all of us to the same extent) contributed to improving our self-regulation skills and the overall program experience. We gradually were able to see more opportunities than constraints in the requirements and cho ices of- fered by the course; for instance, seeing the discussion forum posts as a chance to express our personal knowledge, rather than providing “the correct” answer (an expression of self-motivating and self-recordi ng). Dr. Aga encouraged us to be sincere in our self-inquiry, to stay curious and kind to ourselves, and to allow self-expression so that we could all bring the best of ourselves to our shared space and to the world (through our service as educators). She explained that there was no fail - ure but instead our knowing was in constant evolution. We could rewrite our submissions multiple times (and raise our mark) until we decided that we were satised, which inspired self-evaluation and self-satisfa ction. We had a chance to rethink and rewrite our “story.” The whole class agreed that the discussion forum space was a platform to weave our own un - derstanding of M-learning notions into the “larger story” of the “accep t- ed” theory, but there were no right or wrong answers. Respect for each 260 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 other’s opinion was expected as we all participated in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. Dr. Aga stressed that it was okay to be vulnerable and to ask for help when needed, to celebrate our unique ways, and to come to knowing by looking inward (self-reection) and connecting out - ward when ready (self-instruction, help-seeking, and collaborati on). We were invited to slow down (while our instructor was monitoring and adjust- ing the course due dates) and create space for insight and perspective so that the individual and then the collective voice could enter the space we co-created. We needed to do our part that involved all SRL processes at various times. We were invited to keep our learning journals and to always self-inquire what our intention was behind our choices and strategies. I can see the dierence in my self-reection notes which I keep more oen. It seems that I have acquired the ability to better observe my thoughts and understand my feelings. This has enhanced my metacognitive pro - cesses and has made me realize ways of using new knowledge in real-life tasks. Now, I can clearly see the purpose of self-reection exercises aer each assign - ment in our courses. They help learners decode their behaviours and the cause behind them. Furthermore, they help understand others’ behaviours and appreci - ate their perspective. Ultimately, this contributes to ac - quiring the ability of distilling knowledge and personal - izing it. Prompted by our instructor to write some advice for distance learners in our blogs, I wrote the following: Through this challenging learning journey in distance education KEEP A JOURNAL of your experiences be - cause they matter. You are the one who drives yourself through these experiences and this is more important than a theory that will tell you how you should feel. (S2) [W]hile I always maintained that external motivation to stay on track and keep my eyes on the “prize,” I soon realized that without internal motivation, my studies would be a long and arduous process. I needed to MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 261 develop genuine curiosity and interest in the subject matter and nd ways to personalize my learning, so it becomes more relevant, meaningful, and enjoyable to me. Mindfulness brought me to a clearer, deeper un - derstanding of my motives. I re-evaluated my goals, grew as a professional, and matured as a person. While the external rewards still remain, becoming present in the moment and fully emerged in my learning created a new-found enthusiasm and appreciation in the subject matter. Being able to recognize my present intention, focus on it, and be true to myself, stimulated my inter - nal motivation to design projects that I could also im - plement in my teaching and share with my educational community. This has increased my feelings of self-worth and has given me the condence to talk about and ad - vocate distance education. (S4) Mindful speaking and deep listening practice during the live ses - sions guided us to active listening and better collaboratio n with our peers, especially during group assignments. It also triggered self-c ontrol and self-observation as we were able to monitor our chattery minds an d the eects of silence on human-to-human interaction. The growth-encouraging feedback from Dr. Aga, inviting students’ input and rewrites, allowed us to learn from our mistakes and improve our academic skills. Her feedback was provided as dialogue, in which students were asked to reply to instructor’s inquiries and expr essions of praise, using in-line comments; they could also rewrite parts of the assignment and resubmit at any time of the course. It inspired further re - ection, honoured learning through errors, invited revisions (as ma ny as needed), and turned assessments into welcomed opportunities as op - posed to threats. We took responsibility for our assignments as expres- sions of our own ideas that we wanted to showcase—we still needed “to do the work” and activate our “self ” skills of task analysis, performance, and reection. The “exible structure” of the course with recommended yet negotiable deadlines also helped. 262 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 Making intentional choices regarding my tasks, asking what was conducive to my learning and what was about grades, improved my time management skills which made my studying more eective. My work became more focused and more succinct. Mindful communica - tion and feedback from my instructor and peers also en - hanced my academic achievement. On the one hand, this attentive dialogic feedback made me feel included in the learning process and directly involved in my aca - demic growth. My communication with my instructors and peers gained new clarity and calm. I felt respect - ed and acknowledged. On the other hand, practicing mindfulness helped me put the feedback I was given in perspective: that it was not intended to judge but to support. As well, I was able to detach myself from emo - tional reactions when the feedback would not meet my expectations and truly deal with it in an eective and mature way, learning and growing from it. (S4) We were learning to be more self-aware of how we reacted emo - tionally and behaviourally. Through reminders and questions, Dr. Aga invited us to check with our own reactions and reect on what actio ns or reactions followed. During the forums and group assignments, we were asked to engage in self- and peer-to-peer reection on our preferences, needs, and the learning process. The learning journals oered a mindful - ness lens onto our individual experience; our group debriefs highlight ed similarities and dierences with others and how we are connected with them. All individual voices that arose in personal space (both online and oine) were honoured, then shared and combined into collecti ve inqui- ry that enabled co-construction of knowledge (Vygotsky, 1980). We could observe a shi in our awareness, especially when we re - membered to pause and reect as encouraged by reminders and prac - tices built into the course, as well as class conversation around mind - fulness. The reminders from Dr. Aga—to slow down, go deeper, choose tasks and work on them with intention, be present and do the work, seek help and extensions when competing responsibilities were pulling us aw ay MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 263 from the dedicated learning space—transformed the way we approached planning and performing our tasks, and how we felt about engaging with those tasks or not being able to engage with them when the going got rough. Gradually, we were also able to focus better and use our time more eciently to complete our work by the due dates, without feeling pressure or anxiety, even though the course was very challenging. I entered the program fully aware that I would lose fo - cus and tend to deviate from what I was researching due to my multiple interests in various topics. While this behaviour stimulated me and oered me a plethora of information, it also resulted in lost time and frustration from not completing tasks in my scheduled time. Mind - fulness and, particularly, practice of attention and inten - tion helped bring me back to what I was researching so I could nish my work promptly. (S4) Dr. Aga’s approach with empathy and compassion, such as talking to us privately or as a group to seek understanding and guide us in designing solutions, modelled a supportive and non-judgmental attitude. Inste ad of feeling upset over our performance, we started controlling negative fe el- ings such as disappointment and demotivation, applying a stronger meta- cognitive lens, and planning to move forward with resilience. I liked what our instructor said today in our live session: “Ok, you didn’t manage to stay on track for the past week, so try to do better this week! Don’t get stuck on what happened, try to catch up from where you are now…Don’t let the feeling of guilt preoccupy you.” And this is exactly what I plan to do! (S1) From an instructional design perspective, the two-week forum cy - cle in the M-learning course oered us the exibility to choose appro - priate times to devote exclusively to the forum discussions without com - promising our time and eort from the other course requirements. We continued to advocate for this design in subsequent courses and nego - tiated with other instructors to implement the two-week forum cycle in their courses. 264 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 The class community support, through the combination of syn - chronous sessions and asynchronous discussions, allowed us to respect other people’s truth, their time, and our collective understanding of the successful online learning experience. Continuing Our Journey In retrospect, the M-learning course started us on a journey that for the four of us continued beyond the course and the program. We kept eval - uating our SRL skills through self-reection —a metacognitive process enhanced by our interaction, numerous discussions, and exchange of views on how we perceive, plan, and go about our learning tasks . This interactive process informed the way we organized our study, identied and felt about problems and generated solutions, and how we support - ed our fellow students while, at the same time, learned new stra tegies from them. It’s been a year since the beginning of the master’s and this is the rst time I feel so connected to my peers. We are now in a dierent course, but I am able to transfer the mindfulness practices to it; the study-buddy idea ts well with the mindfulness strategies we developed in the M-learning course. I realize that the two courses are com - pletely dierent, as well as the facilitation style, but we are the same and the way we work together is not limited to the one course. Even when we work alone, we are a team! I feel lucky and grateful I have met these ladies. (S1) We wove into our lives moments of retrospection, pause and si - lence, and attention to the now. That was not limited to our academic sphere of life. It has become a lifelong process preparing us to face life experiences as they come. During the last semester, I had to face a sudden and signicant reduction of my salary. I felt excluded and ex - pelled, I wanted to quit right away, replying back with an angry email. However, having practised mindfulness, I have learned to manage my emotions, and instead of MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 265 an angry reaction, I took the time needed, to see things clearly and calm down. But it was only when I actively reected over this situation, through my journal writing, that I managed to see the whole picture and close this chapter of my life inside me. This activity helped me re - alize how many things I gained all those years and I felt grateful, and richer from this experience, and less sad for its end. Most important, I felt ready to move on…” (S1) The Warsaw Conference Experience Our friendship was established during the M.Ed. courses and moved be - yond the formal learning space. Dr. Aga’s encouragement and our Greek cohort coordinator’s recommendation inspired us to participate in th e 3rd World Conference on Blended Learning (WCBL2018) in Warsaw, Poland. Our rst co-authorship of the conference paper deepened our practice and discussion of mindfulness. The experience of working on our autoethnography, and completing the paper and its presentation in Warsaw was rewarding but challenging. As S1 noted, Multitasking oen made me stressed, sad, depressed... those feelings used to make me freeze. I could not think, focus, or complete anything. It was terrif ying. The cen - tering and breathing practice helpes me now to man - age my emotions, calm down the panic, and organize the ideas in my head. It helps me observe peacefully the irrelevant thoughts and past experiences triggered by negative feelings. So, whenever things are getting tight, three minutes are enough to nd my center, calm down, take a deep breath, and bounce back….that certainly came in handy before the WCBL2018 presentation. Dr. Aga’s guidance was crucial, granting us autonomy and interven - ing only when needed. This increased our condence and made us feel both supported and independent, boosting our motivation to partici - pate in similar activities in the future. We supported and advised each other, making it possible to participate together in a process that sur - passed our individual capabilities. 266 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 We agreed that through this process our SRL skills of task analysis, performance, and self-reection all evolved, and the only way to realiz e that was through self-observation without harsh judgement. It is through self-awareness, self-evaluation and rening our attitude and actio ns, and respecting our boundaries that we were able to keep motivated. Completing the Master’s Program We have now all graduated from the M.Ed. program. Owing to our new attitudes and skills, we completed the nal e-portfolio in a timely and eective manner. We could now concentrate on one thing at a time with - out unnecessary anxiety. In a magical way, I am now able to nd room for more responsibilities and tasks. I feel my mind is clear enough so as to weigh things out and devote to them the time that each task deserves. Participating in extra mindful - ness workshops, beyond this program, helped me see the real dimensions of responsibilities without panick - ing. I can face them as pieces of a puzzle that will be put in the right position when their turn comes. I control them, they don’t control me! (S2) The centering practice and mindful breathing exercise before I would begin my course-related work helped me center into what I was doing, clearing my mind of external stimuli and distractions. As a result, I was able to use my time more eciently and be more productive, leaving more time to be with my family. The centering practice was particularly helpful during the last term where I was able to complete my e-Portfolio in about two months, graduating ahead of time while still having family time….What a journey (see Figure 1). (S3) Writing This Paper Just three months aer the WCBL 2018 conference in Warsaw, Dr. Aga in - vited us to continue our research. The last two academic years were chal - MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 267 Figure 1: Online graduate students’ journey enhanced by mindfulness pr actices as illus- trated by the students. 268 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 lenging and demanding for all of us. We were looking forward to getting some rest and spending the summer with family and friends whom we had neglected during the period of our studies. When Dr. Aga proposed co-au - thoring this paper during the summer, we were excited with the idea but exhausted by the accumulated tiredness of the past academic years. Being motivated by the previous experience and the excellent collaboration, w e accepted the challenge knowing our capabilities and team’s dynamic: [M]indfulness stimulated my internal motivation to learn and expand beyond what was provided in the program. As a result, I collaborated in this project which has made me feel proud to have been a member of the group. Last - ly, mindfulness has taught me that learning stimulated by internal motivation is more ecient and eective and its results are longer lasting. Since the completion of the program, I have been practicing mindfulness…also in de - cision-making (e.g., whether to participate in this paper). Answers to questions such as “Why am I really considering this?” are clearer with mindfulness as it opens windows to better understanding of myself and my motives—my true intentions. These interventions have supported and en - hanced my ability to self-regulate my learning. (S4) FINDINGS: THEMES AND DISCUSSION Taylor and Mireault (2008) stressed that mindfulness-based intervent ions sustain behavioural regulation. They also pointed that mindfulness sk ills impact the ability to self-monitor one’s progress and intervene accor ding- ly. At the same time, Tang et al. (2007) found that mental training methods of mindfulness increase the degree of self-regulation due to their impa ct on emotional and cognitive performance as well as on social b ehaviour. Mindfulness may provide learners with strategies to counter the challe ng- es of a demanding educational environment, such as online learning. In exploration of our new attitudinal, emotional, and behaviou ral hab- its of mind that improved our SRL processes which were supported by the mindfulness-based practices, these three key themes emerged: moti vation, MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 269 self-awareness, and time management. Learners can take ownership of their learning by applying SRL strategies and transforming their mental abilities into academic skills (Zimmerman, 2008). Motivation Motivation is essential for learners to self-regulate through all thr ee SRL phases (Zimmerman & Moylan, 2009). Deci, Ryan, and Williams (1996) stressed that intrinsically motivated behaviours are driven by self-int er- est, rather than external catalysts. Intrinsically motivated behaviours are described as “autotelic…behaviors for which the purpose of the activity is, in a sense, the activity itself ” (Deci et al., 1996, p. 167). Extrinsicall y motivated behaviours are performed to attain a separable consequence (i.e., reward), and are usually prompted by external factors. The proces s of internalization and integration may transform extrinsic motivatio n into self-determination. Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, and Ryan (1991) s uggested that self-regulated learners are interested in learning and are self-c on- dent. They are intrinsically motivated, and the high quality of their lear ning reects in their personal growth and adjustment. Intrinsically motivat ed learners value learning and its incentives. Sansone and Harackiewicz (2000) stressed that the key to success is to deal with problems in a exi - ble manner. For that purpose, it is necessary for learners to cultivate thei r intrinsic motivation and become creative. Extrinsic motivation as a re - ward contributes only to the implementation of less creative tasks; thus , self-regulation is highly dependent on internal processes and our awa re- ness of them. It is noteworthy that our observations revealed that, aer the implementation of mindfulness practices, there was an increase in o ur interest in the course and appreciation for its activities inviting our c re- ative thinking and reection. A greater internal impact, conscious e orts, as well as self-condence were noted. Correspondingly, there was a sig - nicant rise mainly in our intrinsic motivation which transformed us into increasingly self-regulated learners. Mindfulness strategies , such as per- sonalized mindful feedback, mindful listening, meditation, and cen tering practice were catalytic to consistently striving towards the goals, ev en in the face of hurdles. 270 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 Self-Awareness The second key theme was self-awareness, on metacognitive and emo - tional levels, seen as a critical factor that led to our successful self-mot i- vation beliefs, self-observation, self-judgment, and self-react ion practices (Zimmerman & Moylan, 2009). Goleman (1998) dened self-awareness as the ability of the learner to be conscious of one’s own skil ls, emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and biases which lead to self-regulated behavi ours and to the ability to identif y needs and gaps. We managed to reduce de - fensiveness and low self-esteem regarding our ability to learn owing to mindfulness practices and supports that prompted us to be aware and keep track of our thoughts, feelings, and “whole-person knowing,” and how the process aected us cognitively, emotionally, and energetica lly. Broadbent and Poon (2015), similarly to Zimmerman and Moylan (2009), described that SRL is acquired through a triadic interaction between three important characteristics: a) self-observation (mon - itoring one’s actions; seen as the most important of these processes); b) self-judgement (evaluation of one’s perfor - mance); and c) self-reactions (one’s response to perfor - mance outcomes). (p. 2) Accordingly, the observation of our internal processes and out - comes led to the change of attitude and behaviour by increasing focus, intentionality, and mindful choice of strategies (with regard to self an d the collective). Principally, we managed to be fully aware of and compare our current situation to the desired one and then set goals accordingly. While this is congruent with the control theory (Carver & Scheier, 1 982) where learners use their analytical and synthetical skills in order to proces s informa- tion and consciously plan their steps that will lead them to the app ropriate end state, it also emphasizes the value of pausing, self-inquir y, and emotion- al awareness (Grith, Steelman, Wildman, LeNoble, & Zhou, 2017). Zimmerman (2002) suggested that, among other characteristics of self-regulation, it is important for the learner to be capable of selecti ng the appropriate peers to collaborate with on tasks using self -awareness skills. Huston, Garland, and Farb (2011) found that mindfulness reduce d MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 271 negative reactivity in communication and, thus, enabled awareness of one’s self and peers, resulting in patterns of eective co-operation. Th e increase in self-awareness positively contributed to the social skil ls of the group. Additionally, pausing and observation helped us be aware of our impulses and perceptions of self and circumstances and act on them out of conscious choice (Ray, 2002). Time Management The third theme, time management, or rather a new attitude and under - standing of the role time plays and the need to slow down, proved to be a signicant factor in our SRL eorts. Starting with mindful choices, mentioned above, and the awareness of our true needs versus wants or external pseudo-boundaries, the temporal space of online learning had to be re-evaluated. Broadbent and Poon (2015) conducted a systemati c review of research from 2004 to 2014 on the correlation between online SRL strategies and academic success. They found that “the application of time management, eort regulation, critical thinking and metacogn itive strategies” (p. 12) generated the most signicant results in on line academ- ic achievement. Dettori, Giannetti, and Persico (2006) found that time management is a vital factor for self-regulated learning since it ensur es the adaptability and capability to deal with a variety of demanding situatio ns. We successfully met the challenge of blending our parallel worlds and combining our work, school, and family obligations once w e appreci- ated that we needed to work authentically and with purpose according to the present circumstances and the larger design of the course, includin g its scaolds and supports. During the SRL forethought phase (Zimmerman & Moylan, 2009), we built our plan and set goals based on our motives and according to our expectations, interests, self-ecacious belief s, and respect for each other. The performance phase included “strategic pro - cesses and self-recorded outcomes” (Zimmerman, 2008, p. 179) while the self-reection phase focused on personal evaluations and account s that helped us produce an “agreed-on story” of teaching and learning processes benecial for individuals and the group. Moreover, the present-moment awareness practice allowed us to appreciate the benet of monotasking in a digital environment that is de - 272 THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE INQUIRY . Vol. 7, No. 1, 2020 signed for multitasking. Particularly, we purposefully isolated t asks and experiences to better comprehend them and engage in them, and thus, complete them successfully. Our mindfulness practice also supported our time management by reducing the level of stress, and, consequently, improving our functio n- ing processes such as working memory, attention on intention, and focus (Trevisani, 2015). This resulted in a more fruitful learning experienc e and outcomes supported by our connection and co-operation, despite the constant challenge of lack of time. CONCLUSION As mentioned above, the online learning environment might present ad - ditional challenges to learners who are not accustomed to its oen-misin - terpreted exibility and “less-enforcing” guideposts. The herein p resent- ed mindfulness practices were introduced half-way through the M.Ed. program as we were in the process of developing our SRL skills as online learners. The noticeable augmentation of our self-regulation, and aw are- ness of that, led us to believe that it was the mindful behaviour and atti - tude that promoted the marked positive shi in our learning experience. The ndings from the collective analysis of our individual and combined stories point to the signicance of mindfulness practices in supporti ng SRL of DE learners and, as a result, their successful online learning process es and achievements. The chief mindfulness-supported habits that we foun d to positively aect the forethought, performance, and self-reecti on pro- cesses (Zimmerman & Moylan, 2009) were enhanced intrinsic motivation, self-awareness, and a mindful approach to time management. Overall, the introspective nature of the mindfulness practices, in - dividual and group, led to reflective and meaningful learning based on inquiry into self and others; it was adjusted to each unique learner’s con - text and discovered by each one of us somewhat differently, in a shared space and experience that connected us and rewarded us with a feeling of belonging. Zimmerman (2003) noted that self-regulation extended beyond “self ” processes to include self-coordinated collective learnin g guided by MINDFULNESS PRACTICES IN ONLINE LEARNING 273 personal goals but achieved through others. Based on ongoing communi - cation, we were able to create a cohesive, connected learning community, which enhanced our cooperation as we wove our own worlds into it. Ulti - mately, we acknowledged each other’s experiences as equally contribut - ing to the learning community. The importance of interconnect edness and our interaction through shared spaces, both synchronous and asynchro - nous, was another vivid theme that came out of this study, but it deserves further exploration and in-depth treatment in a separate publication. We agreed that this mindfulness-based learning experience promot - ed our growth as learners and as individuals. Although further research is needed into the various dimensions of SRL and how mindfulness prac - tices interact with them, there is no doubt in our mind that the practic - es described above had a meaningful impact on our online experience and self-development. 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