The Impact of Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning: A Blessing or Curse?

Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

The purpose of this session is to gain audience perspectives regarding the challenges and opportunities of Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL), leading to determining if the experience of transitioning to online during the pandemic was/ wasn't a blessing in disguise. 



Dr. Mukuni completed his graduate degree in Career and Technical Education and Instructional Design and Technology at Virginia Tech. He currently works as director of Online Learning

Extended Abstract

An online course is “a course where most or all of the content is delivered online. Typically have no face-to-face meetings'' (Allen & Seaman, 2008, p.4). Emergency remote teaching is an unplanned “ temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances'' (Hodges et al., 2020, p.n.). Unlike Emergency Remote Teaching, conventional online teaching is usually planned and may not be temporal.  The pandemic presented various challenges and opportunities in education. With the move to online learning, it was clear that not many instructors were prepared for the transition which may affect students' learning.  According to Whalen (2020), “this global pandemic exposed a significant gap in teacher preparation and training for emergency remote teaching, including teaching with technology to ensure continuity of learning for students at a distance” (p.189). Also, faculty were facing some pedagogical challenges and lack of support from the Ministry of Education (Shamir-Inbal & Blau, 2021). As a result, one of the benefits of this challenge is the exposure of the need to train faculty on ERTL. For students, one study found that there was “an increase in students' academic performance in emergency remote teaching, supporting the idea that organizational factors may contribute to successful implementation of emergency remote teaching” (Iglesias-Pradas et al., 2021, p.1).



            This session will focus on the opinions of instructors, students, and instructional designers regarding the impact of emergency remote on teaching and learning. In addition to defining the session goals, sharing them with the participants, and defining any key information and abbreviations, the speakers (instructional designers and instructional design & technology graduate students) will do the following:

  1. Share their insights on the topic of emergency remote teaching and its effect on learning and teaching in higher education, and

  2. Engage the audience in an interactive discussion, using crowdsourcing, develop a list of positive and negative experiences from the use of emergency remote teaching to possibly research in the future.

The following are examples of some of the questions which will be posed to prompt discussion during the presentation: 

1.     What are the challenges you faced during ERTL as students, instructors, or instructional designers?

2.     What opportunities did ERTL present to you as a student, instructor or instructional designer?

3.     From your perspective, in general do you think ERTL was beneficial or detrimental? Why?


Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2008). Staying the course: Online education in the United States, 2008. Sloan Consortium. 

Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020, March 27). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from

Whalen, J. (2020). Should teachers be trained in emergency remote teaching? Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 28(2), 189-199.

Iglesias-Pradas, S., Hernández-García, Á., Chaparro-Peláez, J., & Prieto, J. L. (2021). Emergency remote teaching and students’ academic performance in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: A case study. Computers in Human Behavior, 119, 106713.

Shamir-Inbal, T., & Blau, I. (2021). Facilitating emergency remote K-12 teaching in computing-enhanced virtual learning environments during COVID-19 pandemic - blessing or curse? Journal of Educational Computing Research, 59(7), 1243–1271.