Digital Object Identifier
Objectives: During the COVID-19 pandemic, university faculty experienced an emergency pivot to online instruction in the Spring 2020 semester. Many had no prior online teaching experience and were given little time to adapt. This study examines pre-pandemic online teaching experience and training strategies used to learn how to teach online during the emergency remote teaching semester, perceptions of change in online teaching ability and the pandemic’s impact on teaching effectiveness, and interest in future online teaching opportunities.
Method: Full-time faculty (n = 455) from four public regional universities in the southern United States completed a survey at the start of the Fall 2020 semester.
Results: Over 35% had no prior online teaching experience, while 43% had taught several online courses. During the pandemic, in an effort to learn or improve online teaching skills, 13.4% sought peer mentoring, 31.9% completed a training program, and 34.9% both sought mentoring and completed training. Perceived online teaching skills, impact of the pandemic on teaching effectiveness, and interest in future online teaching were significantly related to prior online teaching experience and training sought.
Conclusions: Faculty with less online experience perceived a greater negative effect of the pandemic on teaching performance and had less interest in future online teaching. Both mentoring and training enhanced perceived teaching skills, lowered the negative impact of the pandemic on teaching effectiveness, and promoted a positive attitude about future online teaching.
Implications for Theory or Practice: The results provide support for the importance of faculty development programs in shaping attitudes and perceived effectiveness in online teaching and add to existent research on university faculty during the pandemic. Evidence from studies such as this provides universities with data that may be used to re-evaluate induction and training to improve instructional delivery in future instances when emergency remote teaching is required.
Faculty Making the Emergency Online Transition During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects of Prior Online Teaching Experience and Strategies Used to Learn to Teach Online (Special Edition 2022).
Higher Learning Research Communications, 12.