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19th annual Academic Practice and Technology (APT) conference on Reflecting for the future; higher education in disruptive times. UCL, LSE and Imperial College London, 2 July.


In March 2020, teaching and learning (T&L) in higher education pivoted online and in 2021 the disruption to traditional forms of teaching, learning and assessment continues. Like many other academic development programmes, our PG Cert programme pivoted online effectively and efficiently. Programme evaluation data (June 2020) reported that modelling of online teaching and learning within our programme helped lecturers teach online, facilitate peer interaction among their students and assisted informed change in assessment practices to suit the online context. At the heart of our programme’s ethos lies a commitment to community building among students. However, the art of gathering is more than bringing students into a virtual room. Design and careful planning is necessary to elevate a learning experience from modes of presence to participation and to foster a sense of belonging for students within that learning environment. Also given the Pandemic context, a period where the effects of isolation from other people and society were felt acutely, the programme team felt it vital that time was designated for check-ins with participants of the learning environment. Bali (2020) advocates a Pedagogy of care, an approach that demonstrates a genuine concern for students’ wellbeing and life experiences. This exploratory case study examines how the pivot to online teaching on our Postgraduate (PG) Certificate in University Learning and Teaching has impacted on teaching practices of academic staff across the disciplines undertaking the programme. We wish to investigate if and how community building and care was subsequently implemented in the learning environments of academic staff who undertook the PG Cert. Secondly, to inspect what T&L practices, with a focus on the pedagogy of care, that might remain in place in a post pandemic university. Thirdly, to investigate if fully online learning is suitable and viable for the PG Certificate which values community, professional relationships and shared practice. Lastly, this disruptive change to online teaching necessitates the investigation of the future teaching development needs for lecturers teaching in online and blended spaces. Also, in our context, as an emerging technological university, through our experiences and research we propose some recommendations for the university to consider at a strategic level in support of the development of teaching and learning practice in a post digital higher education environment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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