EXPERIENCES OF SOUTH AFRICAN ACADEMICS MOVING FROM CONTACT TO EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING: LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE

Keywords: Covid-19; Emergency Remote Teaching; Online Collaborative Learning Theory; South Africa

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the academic programme of most higher education institutions. To counter this disruption, universities moved from contact to emergency remote teaching. To understand the process of this move, the study explored the experiences of academic staff at a South African university with a transition from contact to emergency remote teaching and the lessons that were learnt for the future. The study was underpinned by Online Collaborative Learning theory (Harasim 2012). A qualitative exploratory case study was conducted to answer the research questions. We generated data from eight academic staff members using focus group discussion and analysed it using an inductive thematic framework. From the analysis, the participants held divergent ideas on digital equity and access to technology, creating online interactive content and teaching modalities, proficiency with the technology and training, limitations with the Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle. The findings indicate the need to prepare academic staff and students for emergency remote teaching before a disruption occurs. The COVID-19 pandemic taught the university that was the research site several lessons about technology-enhanced learning, including the importance of flexibility, technology, student engagement, access and equity, and collaboration. Universities have learned that online learning can be effective but requires careful planning, investment, and ongoing evaluation to ensure success. Importantly, the findings acknowledge that the success of online teaching during the pandemic was influenced by a wide range of factors, including technological infrastructure, pedagogical approach, faculty training and support, student readiness, and the culture of innovation within the community and university.

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Published
2023-12-09
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How to Cite
Mncedisi Christian Maphalala, & Nhlanhla Mpofu. (2023). EXPERIENCES OF SOUTH AFRICAN ACADEMICS MOVING FROM CONTACT TO EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING: LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE. International Journal of Innovative Technologies in Social Science, (4(40). https://doi.org/10.31435/rsglobal_ijitss/30122023/8084