Online from Monday: Lecturers’ experiences of the rapid transition to online learning delivery following the first national emergency response to Covid-19

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Heath, Samantha
Perry, Amanda
Kabbar, Eltahir
Palfreyman, Sue
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Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
Unitec courses
online teaching
online learning
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
communication in education
Unitec, Te Pūkenga
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Heath, S., Perry, A., Kabbar, E., and Palfreyman, S. (2022). Online from Monday: Lecturers’ Experiences of the Rapid Transition to Online Learning Delivery Following the First National Emergency Response to Covid-19. In E. Papoutsaki and M. Shannon (Eds.), Proceedings: Rangahau Horonuku Hou – New Research Landscapes, Unitec/MIT Research Symposium 2021, December 6 and 7, 6–20. Auckland: ePress, Unitec, Te Pūkenga.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s health response during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the tertiary education sector. Lecturers at tertiary institutions were required to make a rapid transition from familiar in-person teaching to teaching online as they navigated and responded to these unexpected and unplanned changes. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a descriptive survey of tertiary-sector lecturers (n = 56) across five disciplines following Aotearoa New Zealand’s first lockdown in March 2020. The study aimed to describe how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted teaching practice in one Aotearoa New Zealand polytechnic. It documented the impact of unexpected transition from in-person to online teaching from the lecturers’ perspectives. An anonymous online survey was available for three weeks. It asked lecturers to identify their level of concern about online course delivery pre and post the initial lockdown event, and to comment on the challenges the lockdown presented. Participants were also asked to identify opportunities and benefits from their experience. Descriptive statistics are provided to show frequencies and to summarise information about the participants. Statistical analyses were conducted using IBM SPSS Version 25 software using Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances and t-test. Qualitative analysis of the lecturers’ free-text responses was undertaken using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) general inductive approach. Analysis showed lecturers were initially concerned about the rapid shift to emergency remote teaching (ERT). Challenges reported included internet access and other technology-related issues, as well as curtailment of laboratory, simulated and experiential learning opportunities especially important in vocational education. This once-in-a-career opportunity provided lecturers with prolonged exposure to teaching remotely and enabled discovery and creativity which could be integrated immediately to support student learning and be used to shape future responses to adverse circumstances.
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