Influence of Covid-19 Regulations on Interpersonal Communication among University Students in Kenya
The study sought to investigate how interpersonal communication among learners at the university had been influenced by the covid-19 regulations. The specific objectives were to analyse the influence of using face masks in class on the interpretation of facial expressions among learners during lectures; to assess the impact of social distancing on the use of haptics among learners especially in class simulations during practical sessions; and to find out the impact of avoiding contact with people on students group work tasks done face to face. The quantitative approach was used in data collection and analysis. The target population was students at St. Paul’s university church house campus who attended face-to-face classes during the May-August semester 2021. A sample of 50 students in this group was selected conveniently by the researchers. Data was collected through on-line questionnaires emailed to the subjects. The findings indicate that non-verbal communication influences to a great extent how messages are interpreted by the learners and therefore using of face masks hinders delivery of some non-verbal messages only conveyed best by facial expressions through the eyes and the mouth. Social distancing also affects the use of haptics during interactions and so during simulations some activities were curtailed by the regulations. In addition, the fact that there is no personal contact or minimal personal contact, demonstrations especially with the use of equipment was affected. Quality of group assignments was also affected because the students were not able to have physical meetings to do research; most was done online and compiled by a secretary. The output was therefore limited to only what was submitted virtually for compilation without conclusive discussion.
Interpersonal communication, university students, Covid-19 regulations