Educational technology


The COVID-19 pandemic pushed higher education institutions across the globe to switch from face-to-face teaching to remote teaching. This study explores how emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic affected university teachers’ perception of online teaching and discusses the future of e-learning after the pandemic. The analysis is based on the interview responses collected from twelve business school teachers at one Sino-foreign university in China. The results show that the perception of e-learning improved after a semester of involuntary remote teaching. We also discuss the factors that may act as barriers to the adoption of e-learning, such as poor quality of the Internet, high workload, and lack of proper online pedagogy training, and show that teachers tend to implement elements of online teaching even despite these barriers as long as they find the usage of the online contents beneficial for their practice. Finally, our findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the digitalisation of higher education and created new opportunities for the provision of online education.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Emergency remote teaching positively affected teachers’ willingness to use available technology.
  2. The transition to online teaching can be smoother and quicker if an institution provides sufficient technical support.
  3. Despite technological problems, teachers tend to implement elements of online learning as long as they find the usage beneficial for their teaching.
  4. Universities should provide proper pedagogical training to academic staff before involving them in designing and delivering online courses.
  5. The COVID-19 pandemic created new opportunities for transition to online education as teachers formed a strong belief that online education, or at least its elements, may increase the efficiency of teaching and learning.