This week we’ve had a paper published in Higher Education, presenting the first results from our recent major international survey on “emergency remote teaching” and the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector. This paper focuses on the quantitative and qualitative findings from across the UK higher education sector, identifying a number of “afflictions” and “affordances” from the rapid shift to online learning, teaching and assessment.
COVID-19 and digital disruption in UK universities: afflictions and affordances of emergency online migration
Richard Watermeyer, Tom Crick, Cathryn Knight and Janet Goodall
COVID-19 has caused the closure of university campuses around the world and migration of all learning, teaching, and assessment into online domains. The impacts of this on the academic community as frontline providers of higher education are profound. In this article, we report the findings from a survey of n=1148 academics working in universities in the United Kingdom (UK) and representing all the major disciplines and career hierarchy. Respondents report an abundance of what we call ‘afflictions’ exacted upon their role as educators and in far fewer yet no less visible ways ‘affordances’ derived from their rapid transition to online provision and early ‘entry-level’ use of digital pedagogies. Overall, they suggest that online migration is engendering significant dysfunctionality and disturbance to their pedagogical roles and their personal lives. They also signpost online migration as a major challenge for student recruitment, market sustainability, an academic labour market, and local economies.
Higher Education 81, 623–641 (2021)
(also see: Publications)