In 2020, for the first time in history, COVID-19 measures necessitated emergency online teaching to ensure continuity of education. Although institutional support was offered to lecturers, the situation posed an extraordinary challenge for university teaching. Using a comparative approach, this study surveys lecturers from different countries and their use of educational technology for emergency online teaching. Its focus lies on the relationships between use of educational technology, online teaching self-efficacy and attitudes towards educational technology. Overall and according to reports, the use of educational technology increased significantly compared to pre-pandemic conditions. The universities studied had different levels of digitalization, which influenced lecturers’ use of educational technology. Furthermore, lecturers differed in terms of self-efficacy, attitude, and perception. Regarding factors affecting educational technology use, results showed that especially pre-pandemic experiences with educational technology, as well as self-efficacy and perceptual variables influenced the use of educational technology during the pandemic. Based on these results, it is advisable for universities to embrace this ad hoc switch to online teaching as an opportunity for purposeful digitalization of university teaching.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Universities have varying degrees of digital maturity and this needs to inform institutional strategy.
  2. COVID-19 brought to the fore university strengths and weaknesses relating to digital competency.
  3. Synchronous web-conferencing has grown in popularity during the pandemic compared to other educational technologies.
  4. There are significant differences in EdTech usage across UK, Germany, France, and Switzerland.
  5. The UK had the greatest propensity to adopt/adapt EdTech resources.