TEL in a time of Covid

Kearins, Louise and Gilligan, Jennifer (2021) TEL in a time of Covid.


When all lecturers, students, technical and support staff switched to emergency remote teaching, learning and support overnight in March the apprehension was palpable. It was time to appraise the supports we had for both lecturers and students in order to provide them with multiple options to teach and learn remotely. In the beginning, the plan needed to be practical and simple, it needed to follow a logical sequence: communication, platform, delivery option, communities of practice and assessment; paradigm preserving. As the semester closed it was obvious that we would need to assist staff to move from emergency remote teaching to online teaching for the next academic year. This would require moving lecturers beyond their new comfort zone, taking online teaching to the next level; paradigm stretching. As the semester unfolded the team need to overcome new challenges, to provide new solutions to the issue's lectures were facing in the virtual classroom to assure academic integrity; paradigm breaking (McFadzean, 1998a, 1998b, 1998c; Proctor, 1996). Situational factors, in this case, COVID-19, has impacted the need for all staff to think outside of the box (Proctor, 2020).

In this presentation, we aim to describe the rapid development of teaching resources, the adaptation of existing resources and the challenges faced by Instructional Designers to date when assisting all campus staff to move to remote teaching and online communication. We examine the Paradigm shift, a shift in our methods of communication, our platform, the delivery of our content and student assessment to name just a few. A familiar approach was reported as ‘clinging to the familiar’ Lederman, D. (2020). Notable is how lecturers moved from delivery concerns to the creation of engaging learning activities and student's benefiting from the flexibility of this new way of learning (Ferdig, R.E., Baumgartner, E., Hartshorne, R., Kaplan-Rakowski, R. and Mouza, C. 2020).

As 2020 draws to an end it is time to reflect on lessons learned and prepare for a new future of teaching and learning in Higher education. But what will remain when the crisis settles? Which technologies will remain, and which ones will fall away like chalk dust? Are the new insights into what technology can do for classroom worth holding on to or shall we return to the status quo?


Lederman,D. (2020) How Teaching Changed in the (Forced) Shift to Remote Learning, Inside Higher Education, April 22, 2020

Ferdig,R.E., Baumgartner,E., Hartshorne,R., Kaplan-Rakowski,R. and Mouza,C. (2020). Teaching, Technology, and Teacher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stories from the Field. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

McFadzean,E.S. (1998a) ‘Enhancing creative thinking within organisations’, Management Decision, 36(5), pp.309-315.

McFadzean,E.S. (1998b) ‘The creativity continuum: towards a classification of creative problem solving techniques’, Creativity and Innovation Management, 7(3), pp.131-139.

McFadzean,E.S. (1998c), The Creativity Tool Box: A Practical Guide for Facilitating Creative Problem-Solving Sessions, TeamTalk Consulting, Milton Keynes.

Proctor,T. (2020) 'Creative problem-solving techniques, paradigm shift and team performance', An International Journal, 26(7/8), p.p.451-466.

Proctor,T. (1996) ‘Paradigm shift: a new perspective involving analogical thinking’, Management Decision, 34(7), pp.33-38.

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