Research Articles

Uplifting the well-being of teacher candidates through virtual exchange during COVID-19




virtual exchange, teacher candidates, teacher education, positive psychology, PERMA


COVID-19 is a time of adversity for college students. Different universities have taken different measures to uplift student well-being. Virtual exchange was a tool that improved student well-being, relieved distress, and helped students focus on their studies. This virtual exchange that partnered teacher candidates outlines how effective this measure was for the participants during COVID-19. This study explores how virtual exchange impacted the well-being of teacher candidates when their university classes were moved online. The data for this research were obtained from a questionnaire, with qualitative and quantitative components, given to the teacher candidates of two universities at the end of the semester regarding their experience interacting virtually throughout the semester. Interacting with a virtual partner when all the classes moved online when less in-person interaction was available benefited students in uplifting wellbeing in terms of Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Purpose, and Accomplishment (PERMA).

Author Biographies

Shannon Hilliker, Binghamton University

Dr. Shannon M. Hilliker received her PhD at the University at Albany in Curriculum and instruction with a focus on language learning. She has taught elementary and university level ESL, EFL and teacher candidates since 1999. Dr. Hilliker’s research interests include teacher professional development and online conversation and culture exchange.

Barbara Loranc, University of Bielsko-Biała

Barbara Loranc works at University of Bielsko-Biała, Poland. Her research interests focus on exploring various linguistic aspects of telecollaboration as well as innovative uses of digital resources in foreign language teaching and learning. She has published in international journals and edited volumes of the field of second language acquisition.  

Devindi Samarakkody, University at Albany

Devindi Samarakkody completed her master’s degree in TESOL at SUNY Binghamton She is currently doing her Ph. D in Curriculum and Instruction at SUNY Albany. She intends to become a teacher trainer and an English professor in a state university in Sri Lanka. Her research interests include translanguaging and strategic instructional planning.





Research Articles