Learning together in a global pandemic - new report

New report - Learning together in a global pandemic: practices and principles for teaching and assessing online in uncertain times.

The final report from an international research project funded by Universitas 21 (U21) is now available. IAD staff Dr Catherine Bovill and Celeste McLaughlin were part of the research project team.

The report synthesises academic colleagues’ experiences of the pivot to ‘emergency remote teaching’ in March-April 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Research-intensive universities in three countries

The study gathered questionnaire data from academic staff at the University of Queensland in Australia, Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Edinburgh in the UK.

Survey about, and concise case studies of, change process 

A total of 216 academic staff responded to an initial survey, and this was followed up by purposeful selection of 19 staff who were then interviewed, resulting in case studies from across many different disciplines and levels of teaching experience.


Despite some experience of running online programmes, many academics were not prepared to become fully online teachers at very short notice, and similarly, students were not prepared to learn online. The research has investigated the changes that took place during this difficult time from the perspective of teachers. Findings include:

  • clarity about the essential role of student-staff and student-student interactions within teaching;
  • a heightened focus on caring for student learning and well-being;
  • changes to teaching practices and assessment tasks differed across disciplines;
  • creative problem-solving was used to adapt teaching; and
  • there was a sense of change due to Covid-19 that will persist post-pandemic.

Find out more and download the report