The more experienced, the better prepared? New evidence on the relation between teachers’ experience and their readiness for online teaching and learning

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Computers in Human Behavior


In the present study, we tested the common assumption that teachers with more experience consider themselves better prepared for online teaching and learning (OTL). Utilizing the data from a survey of 366 higher-education teachers from Portugal at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we performed structural equation modeling to quantify the experience-readiness relationship. The survey contained an assessment of teachers' OTL readiness which was measured by their perceptions of the institutional support, online teaching presence, and TPACK self-efficacy. In contrast to the linearity assumption “the more experienced, the better prepared”, we found robust evidence for a curvilinear relationship. Teachers’ readiness for OTL increased first and then decreased with more experience—this applied especially to the self-efficacy dimension of readiness. Further analyses suggested that the experience-readiness relationship does not only exist at the level of aggregated constructs but also at the level of indicators, that is, specific areas of knowledge, teaching, and support. We argue that both novice and experienced teachers in higher education could benefit from experience-appropriate, pedagogical, and content-related support programs for OTL.

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