Special issue


This article explores the experiences of two teachers in different institutions (UK and China) specifically selected for this study because of their largely positive institutional experiences of using technology during the first wave of the pandemic in early 2020. Our aim is to understand the emotional outcomes relative to their uses of technology, whilst working from home. In this study, we asked, “what is the role of technology in the affective outcomes of teaching during the pandemic when everyone was at home?” and “Why might teachers feel a sense of nostalgia for a moment of educational crisis?” A proposal was submitted and gained ethical approval from the University of Derby. A qualitative methodology was adopted using semi-structured online interviews and inductive analysis. We address concerns that ‘sense of belonging’ may be an incomplete account of the emotional landscape arising from the use of technology during this educational emergency. We identify three ways in which technology was used and which made experience (1) flexible (2) communal, and (3) visible. We map these uses onto corresponding emotional outcomes which are (1) mattering (2) belonging (3) nostalgia. As a result, we provide a model of ‘E-Motional Good Practice’ in support of institutional, and digital collegiality. Finally, we consider implications for university education departments.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Institutions can use technology to help people feel like they matter
  2. Institutions can use technology to help create a collective sense of belonging
  3. Institutions can use technology to help foster a sense of nostalgia
  4. Institutions can map their use of technology onto emotional outcomes