A global crash-course in teaching and learning online: A thematic review of empirical Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) studies in higher education during Year 1 of COVID-19

William H. Stewart


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted education in ways that academic institutions, scholars, administrators, educators, and students will strive to fully comprehend for years to come. The global spread of SARSCoV2 in early 2020 prompted social distancing as the primary countermeasure against contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus, which in turn led academic communities worldwide to suddenly transition to emergency remote teaching (ERT) in order to maintain educational continuity. This review of the literature synthesizes findings from 38 empirical studies set in higher education about ERT in 2020 from all over the world. A thematic analysis of findings produced four major themes: 1) diverse ERT experiences; 2) digital divide and vast educational/socio economic inequalities; 3) commonly-experienced ERT problems, issues, and challenges; and 4) frequently-made adjustments in response to ERT. Findings are indicative of the immediate aftermath of transitions to ERT, and open areas of research for long-term impacts of ERT are discussed.


emergency remote teaching; emergency remote education; COVID-19; remote learning; distance education; literature review

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.13.1.1177


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