Research Article

Positive Psychology in Emergency Distance Education in Saudi Arabia during the Pandemic and Beyond



Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, there was a sudden transition from face-to-face to distance learning (DL) at Saudi schools and universities. 55% of students surveyed were dissatisfied with DL, online communication and had difficulty understanding the course material. Students showed low self-efficacy, engagement and motivation, a negative role and absence of goals. They were mostly concerned about passing with exams. Starting Fall 2021, Saudi universities resumed face-to-face instruction in combination with DL on alternate days. Unlike the past 3 semesters, instructors and students join their online classes from campus, not home. The instructors are still complaining of students’ lack of interest, engagement, and interaction in online classes. Students are still inattentive and uninterested in class participation. Instructors’ survey showed unfamiliarity with positive psychology and how its principles can be applied in DL courses. To enhance college students’ self-efficacy, interest, interaction, and engagement in DL, and help students become happy and relaxed learners, overcome their anxiety, this study proposes the integration of positive psychology and gives practical guidelines to develop positive attitudes, positive thinking, build students’ resilience and teach them how to cope with and manage challenging learning situations in DL by setting clear teaching and learning goals, standards for passing courses, sending positive messages, writing success stories, providing moral support, reading self-help books, watching self-improvement videos and giving positive feedback. It also gives sample activities for increasing students’ engagement, interaction, and communication.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

4 (1)





How to Cite

Al-Jarf, R. (2022). Positive Psychology in Emergency Distance Education in Saudi Arabia during the Pandemic and Beyond. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 4(1), 286–293.



Positive psychology, distance learning, Covid-19 Pandemic, remote learning challenges, Saudi college education.