Business (Teaching) as Usual Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Online Teaching Practice in Hong Kong

Tsz Kit Ng, Rebecca Reynolds, Man Yi (Helen) Chan, Xiu Han Li, Samuel Kai Wah Chu
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 19  •  2020  •  pp. 775-802

This article aims at the critical present: to serve a constructive purpose in the current COVID-19 crisis by presenting practice driven pedagogical strategies for online learning and teaching. It acknowledges the multitude of challenges faced by educators through the delivery of online instructional strategies for schools.

The development of information technology enables online learning and blended learning to be increasingly popular in extending students’ learning opportunities. Technology-enabled learning approaches make students’ learning more flexible and personalized. In Hong Kong, one of the first few cities where the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was first reported, school classes have been suspended since the end of Lunar New Year on February 3, 2020.

This research used a qualitative method of multiple case analysis to explore how three educators from primary, secondary, and tertiary institutes employed various strategies to offer learning and teaching as usual. Naturalistic inquiry was used to observe, describe, and interpret the “lived experiences” of the three educators and the perceptions of stakeholders.

Since early February 2020, school classes have been suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, one of the first cities where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported. This timely article overviews effective practices with the use of online learning technologies to support academia from around the world to achieve teaching and learning in an online environment.

Results indicate that meaningful cognitive activities rely on teachers’ leading role to build a blended approach that combines the advantages of asynchronous and synchronous methods in order to facilitate social interaction among students. Furthermore, our research has revealed that educators are likely to perceive three non-teaching challenges on a rapid blended transition of the learning – digital divide, data privacy, and professional leadership.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the learning of a generation of students and driven a sudden shift to online learning. Our case study recommends a blended model of asynchronous and synchronous learning as an effective pedagogy that allows learners flexibility, autonomy, and opportunities for learners to socialize with each other, which can be applied at any education level.

Technological advancements have made online classes possible, but how feasible is it to believe that a near overnight transition can lead to effective learning and teaching? The current article strongly acknowledges the multitude of barriers that stand in the way of feasibility, capacity building. and delivery of inclusive online instruction for today’s school districts, administrators, curriculum and technology directors, teachers, parents, and students.

In an effort to generate new knowledge within the challenges of the current pandemic, further studies are suggested to examine the longitudinal impact of these blended approaches, the digital divide, inclusive and accessible learning opportunities of vulnerable groups, and psycho-social support for students towards their academic and social development.

COVID-19, coronavirus, blended synchronous, case study, homeschooling
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