The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on all aspects of life thus far, including higher education. At the University of Lethbridge, the pandemic has caused major disruptions to teaching and learning when courses had to be moved online in a matter of days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Since then, the majority of teaching continued to be delivered through synchronous or asynchronous online teaching formats.
Recent research highlights some of the challenges that university teaching staff have been experiencing as a consequence of the sudden shift to online teaching. For many, this meant needing to adopt new teaching methods, learn how to use educational technologies effectively, adapt to fundamentally different ways of interacting with students, and within a broader context, deal with economic, family, mental health or care-giving challenges (Bozkurt et al., 2020; Luthra, 2021; Marioni et al., 2020; UVic, 2020).
We, a group of local faculty, instructors and staff are planning to investigate the impact the Covid-19 transition has had on you and your teaching to help make informed decisions when we eventually move out of the pandemic again.
Purpose of Research:
The purpose of our study is to create a detailed picture of your experiences while teaching at the University of Lethbridge during the Covid-19 pandemic (Summer Session I 2020 until today). With your help, we hope to develop recommendations for the sustainable support and delivery of digitally competent teaching at our institution that considers the need for an adaptability in teaching to future developments in society, a balance in work life of faculty and other teaching staff as well as a positive impact on student learning.
We will use an online survey and semi-structured interviews and focus groups to:
- Examine the breadth of responsibilities, perspectives and experiences of teaching support staff, faculty, instructors, and others in related roles, all of whom work to deliver online teaching at the U of L; and
- Gain a better understanding of challenges faced by this group as well as their perceived needs.
Using this data, we aim to:
- Produce a report and/or publication summarizing the efforts and challenges to support and deliver online teaching during a pandemic; and
- Using participants’ critical insights, articulate a framework for professional development of digital competency for teaching in higher education.
- Based on your critical insights, provide recommendations for how our research group might network across campus, distribute capacity, and mobilize long-lasting change.
Survey recruitment: Official email mail invitations go out will go out during the period from April 19 – May 16, 2021.
You can also directly access our survey here: https://uleth.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_78yheF5SMBiKNG6
Interview and Focus Group Recruitment: If you are interested in sharing more detailed qualitative insights with us once you have completed the survey, we welcome your participation in either an individual 30-minute interview or a 90-minute focus group. You can indicate your interest here [new tab].
Your views on the Covid-19 teaching experience are important to us.
Dr. Lorraine Beaudin (Faculty of Education), Dr. Sandra Dixon (Faculty of Education), Dr. Rumi Graham (Library), Dr. Stavroula Malla (Department of Economics), Dr. Richelle Marynowski (Faculty of Education), Dr. Angeliki Pantazi (Faculty of Arts and Sciences), and Joerdis Weilandt (Teaching Centre).