22 SES 16 C, From Conventional to Online Teaching: A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Experiences of University Teachers in the COVID-19 Lockdown
The digitalization of teaching represents a complex process with challenges for all actors involved (Green, Burrow & Carvalho, 2020; Kerres, 2020; Zhu & Liu, 2020). Triggered by the spread of the coronavirus and the lockdown of universities in spring 2020, universities were required to provide infrastructure for digital teaching within a very short time. Further, all university members needed to develop skills for teaching online (Altbach & de Wit, 2020). In this context gender-specific differences are of particular interest – previous research has revealed differences in attitudes towards the use of digital media for teaching purposes (Drossel et al., 2019). The paper presents data from a cross-cultural study (Coronavirus-Related Teaching Situation Study), which examines the experiences of university teachers during the coronavirus pandemic. The participants from German universities (n = 292) were surveyed with an online questionnaire focusing on attitudes towards the transition to online teaching, self-assessed competences to teach online, use of digital tools, evaluation of the preparatory process and of online teaching. Furthermore, age and gender were assessed. The paper is focusing the following questions: How did German university teachers experience the transition to online teaching? How does the extent to which digital tools are used change during the lockdown and are there correlations with personal characteristics? How do female and male university teachers differ in their experiences? Results reveal ambivalent assessments and experiences. The transition to online teaching is mostly described as a positive experience. Although half of the respondents estimate the online teaching as less satisfactory, many participants recognize its potential for acquiring digital skills and introducing pedagogical innovations. During the lockdown, web conference systems and LMS platforms were used increasingly in teaching; female teachers use digital tools to a greater extent than male teachers (p<.001). The correlation between the use of digital tools and the self-assessed ability to teach online proves to be low, but significant (p<.001). Overall, the participants seem confident to teach online – female teachers in particular rate themselves as competent and differ significantly from the male respondents (p<.01). The overall picture reveals a mostly successful implementation of online teaching, providing interesting insights and valuable information for further digitalization needs of university teaching – self-assessed competences and gender-specific preferences in the use of digital tools might be relevant. Still, the voluntary nature of participation in the survey might have led to a specific sample of teachers who are in general more open to digitalized teaching.
Altbach, P. G. & de Wit, H. (2020). Postpandemic Outlook for Higher Education is Bleakest for the Poorest. International Higher Education, 102, 3-4. Drossel, K., Eickelmann, B., Schaumburg, H., & Labusch, A. (2019). Nutzung digitaler Medien und Prädiktoren aus der Perspektive der Lehrerinnen und Lehrer im internationalen Vergleich. In B. Eickelmann et al., (Hrsg.), ICILS 2018 Deutschland. Computer- und informationsbezogene Kompetenzen von Schülerinnen und Schülern im zweiten internationalen Vergleich und Kompetenzen im Bereich Computational Thinking (S. 205-240). Münster: Waxmann. Kerres, M. (2020). Against All Odds: Education in Germany Coping with Covid-19. Postdigital Science and Education, 2, 690-694. Green, J. K., Burrow, M. S., & Carvalho, L. (2020). Designing for Transition: Supporting Teachers and Students Cope with Emergency Remote Education, Postdigital Science and Education, 2, 906–922. Zhu, X., & Liu, J. (2020). Education in and After Covid-19: Immediate Responses and Long-Term Visions, Postdigital Science and Education, 2, 695–699.
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