“The new normal”: A case study on the emergent transition towards online teaching and learning in internal medicine and anaesthesiology at the University of the Free State

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v40.i1.10

Keywords:

Access, Connectivism, COVID-19, Emergency remote teaching, Online learning, Self-directed learning

Abstract

This article aims to explore and analyse the challenges and experiences of students in internal medicine and anaesthesiology regarding emergency remote teaching and learning during the coronavirus pandemic. South African universities have been forced to move from face-to-face to online learning (e-learning) due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The Department of Internal Medicine and Anaesthesiology at the University of the Free State (UFS) has been using the traditional face-to-face mode of teaching and learning for over a decade. Owing to the emergent transition to online teaching and learning, UFS has had to make drastic changes to how lessons are presented. Although it is believed that moving to online learning has been a smooth transition, various challenges hinder disadvantaged students from realising the full potential of online learning. The study’s main objective is to propose alternative measures to overcome the students’ challenges and access to effective e-learning. Interpretivist qualitative research was conducted using descriptive research methods, with case studies and existing aggregated data collected during a module evaluation on students’ experiences and challenges with emergency remote teaching and learning and the effectiveness of resource access during COVID-19. Connectivism and Self- Directed Learning theories are the theoretical frameworks for this study. The findings agree with the digital divide as a hindrance to students realising the full potential of e-learning. Yet, lecturers still want students to submit assessment tasks and engage with course activities on the Blackboard learning management system. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that result in a shutdown of university campuses, alternative measures need to be sought to allow students, particularly disadvantaged students, to realise e-learning.

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Published

2022-03-04

How to Cite

Phejane, M. V. (2022). “The new normal”: A case study on the emergent transition towards online teaching and learning in internal medicine and anaesthesiology at the University of the Free State. Perspectives in Education, 40(1), 164-178. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v40.i1.10