FROM FACE-TO-FACE TO ONLINE: ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE RAPID TRANSITION OF HIGHER EDUCATION DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The coronavirus outbreak compelled Higher Education (HE) institutions worldwide to cancel campus-based teaching and conduct a variety of lessons remotely. This transition was implemented in a short period because it was deemed necessary to maintain continuity of teaching and learning provision. Even in ordinary times, i.e. in periods that do not necessitate a hurried implementation of remote learning, there are several challenges associated with distance education. These multifaceted challenges include the robustness of the technical infrastructure, pedagogical and instructional aspects and issues of learner and staff access, support, training and evaluation. Except for specialist HE institutions that have a history of online delivery, such as the different Open Universities, many HE institutions that made the transition were predominantly offering face-to-face teaching before the coronavirus outbreak. Consequently, it is appropriate to consider whether the rapid transition from traditional modes of teaching and learning to online delivery was effective and what issues emerged. This study focuses on public universities in Cyprus. Data was gathered through an online questionnaire (n=41) and a thematic analysis was undertaken to determine how academics dealt with the situation, and to critically explore and evaluate the variety of responses to the challenge of rapid transition.
Keywords: Higher education, coronavirus, rapid transition, face-to-face, online, covid-19.