Teaching mindfulness online

Geoff Simmons, Judith C.S. Redman

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    This article outlines the design and delivery of sessions used and the results obtained from a 2016 pilot study investigating whether the use of mindfulness-based techniques could enhance the wellbeing and academic performance of university students. The study, a collaboration between counselling and chaplaincy at Charles Sturt University (CSU) had three aims: (1) to determine benchmark data of wellbeing, focused attention and academic motivation across the CSU student population; (2) to determine whether mindfulness training affected the emotional wellbeing, focused attention and academic performance of higher education students; and (3) because around 60% of CSU students study online, to examine the relative contribution of two different online modes for delivering mindfulness training, one in real time and one self-guided. Based on research that supports the assumption that ‘mindful learning’ benefits students by enhancing their cognitive and socio-emotional capabilities and improving their general wellbeing and academic performance, this study used three validated psychometric scales to measure the attention and awareness, wellbeing and academic motivation of the participants before and after a four week mindfulness training course. The results demonstrated three main findings: mindfulness training may contribute in the long-term to creating a mindset conducive to learning; mindfulness training can be successfully administered online, both in real time and self-guided; and mindfulness training may contribute to shifting patterns of motivation for learning from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2018

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