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Abstract

This study was undertaken to determine the effects of stress on faculty in higher education teaching online classes. Few studies have been conducted to examine the impact of stress on faculty in online higher education. An anonymous survey of faculty was conducted at an online institution of higher learning to determine how prevalent stress was in their jobs, how stress impacted performance and morale, and what the symptoms were. The findings showed 67.6% of the 100 participants who completed the survey identified either a very high or high level of stress. The biggest stressors included time constraints, technical issues, and large class sizes. The top symptoms identified included sleep disturbances, impatience, tense, tight muscles, irritability, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Recommendations were made to alleviate stress including physical activity, constructive self-talk, relaxation exercises, meditation, networking, quick and effective coping skills, and techniques for saying “no.” A certain amount of stress is desirable, but when stress is not addressed, it can lead to burnout, poor performance, and low morale.

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