The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected students' learning outcomes at all levels. It remains unclear whether such negative effects are due to socio-psychological factors -isolation, hopelessness, depression, etc.- which continue to linger after the general 2020 shut-down or to the sudden transition to forced remote learning. These two factors are often conflated in the public discourse, and their relative impact is still to be explored. This paper attempts to assess their relative effects by taking advantage of a natural experiment of sort that took place in the authors research methods course between spring 2018, when the course began being taught in hybrid format, and spring 2022. Neither the course content nor its delivery format changed during this time period. Any observable average treatment effects emerging at the end of the current spring semester provide the opportunity to isolate the negative socio-psychological impact of the pandemic from classroom-related changes in pedagogy.