Old wine in new bottles academics’ pedagogical beliefs and the pivot online

Shornikova, Aleksandra and Farrell, Orna Old wine in new bottles academics’ pedagogical beliefs and the pivot online.


Traditional teaching practices and their underlying pedagogical beliefs require a re-evaluation. That much has become evident during this year’s worldwide transition from classroom to online learning. Technology made this transition possible but in turn it had greatly challenged our pedagogical beliefs. Teachers naturally gravitate towards a practice most similar to that they are familiar with – face-to-face classroom learning has been replaced with synchronous online lectures hosted via Zoom or similar video and audio conferencing platforms. In doing this, however, the inherent differences of online learning are left unaddressed. To develop an online practice that is comparable to traditional classroom learning both in its quality of delivery and its ability to achieve the desired learning outcomes, it is vital for us as educators to consider the effect our beliefs have on our teaching practices and, consequently, our learners (Coker, 2018). Under normal circumstances, teachers would require time and opportunities to reflect on their beliefs and adjust their practices accordingly (Fives and Buehl, 2016; Berger et al., 2018). The pandemic took time out of the equation. If we assume that change is necessary, what can we do to facilitate it? How can we lessen the burden placed on teachers and support their development towards a mode of online learning that does not merely replicate classroom learning? What if teaching online is incompatible with academic’s pedagogical beliefs? How can academics evolve from novice to expert online educators rapidly in the pandemic context? In response to these questions, the Digital Learning Design Unit (DLDU) at Dublin City University (DCU) has implemented a model of support that presents lecturers with opportunities and space to re-evaluate their teaching practices in a digital environment. This presentation will consider these questions and outline the DLDU’s approach to supporting academics in developing their online teaching and learning design competencies.

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