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This study investigated the impact of loneliness on academic self-efficacy (ASE) and student engagement in the context of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, as a boundary condition, we examined the role of intermediate ASE in the relationship between loneliness, student engagement, and perceived humor in learning. A total of 367 undergraduate students from six universities in Indonesia completed an online questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Macro Process version 4 to test the moderating mediation model hypothesis. As expected, the study results show that loneliness is negatively related to ASE and student engagement. ASE is proven to affect student engagement positively; concurrently, it plays an intermediate role in the link between loneliness and student engagement. Finally, humor had a significant moderating effect on learning in the tested model. This study contributes to the existing literature on loneliness and student engagement by uncovering the intermediate role of ASE. Drawing on the social cognitive theory (SCT) and instructional humor processing theory (IHTP), we explored how perceived humor in learning moderates the relationships between loneliness, ASE, and student engagement.
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