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Objectives: This study aimed to examine the effects of an individual’s generation group on anxiety related to online learning among students and online learning and teaching activities among faculty. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, in April 2020 using the Online Course Anxiety Scale. The questionnaires were sent to 370 undergraduate students and 81 faculty members via email and the responses were stratified by generation. Descriptive statistics and an independent sample t-test was used to compare the mean scores of online learning anxiety with gender and previous experience among faculty and students. Results: A total of 358 students and 70 faculty members completed the questionnaire (response rate: 96.8% and 86.4%, respectively). Only 5.7% of the faculty (compared to 54.7% of the students) enjoyed browsing internet resources during online learning. Among the faculty, 75.7% experienced anxiety during online teaching compared to 37.7% of students. Of the faculty, 92.3% of baby boomers felt anxious compared to 70.5% and 76.9% of X and Y generations, respectively. Conclusion: While students of Generations Z and Y enjoyed browsing the internet during online learning, the Generation Z students were anxious during online discussions and concerned about the misinterpretation of their written communication. Anxiety among faculty members was related to confusion regarding the use of the internet and computers and misinterpretations of text-based messages.
Keywords: Anxiety; Online Learning; Generations; Work Engagement; Medical Education; United Arab Emirates.
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