Adjustments to pandemic enforced constraints: Insights from postgraduate students and educators’ transitions

Nolan, Eimear; Brady, Mairead; Heliot, YingFei and Rienties, Bart (2022). Adjustments to pandemic enforced constraints: Insights from postgraduate students and educators’ transitions. International Journal of Educational and Life Transitions (In press).

Abstract

Much of higher education (HE) experienced a forced global pilot test of online education with the added dimension of a rapid adoption for both educators and students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We used a Multiple and Multi-dimensional Transition (MMT) and Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) perspectives within a two-time interval research design of postgraduate Master students and educators lived experience operationalised during the first three months of the pandemic in Ireland. This paper describes the transitional journey from shock and loss, to new and unfamiliar enforced confined learning environments, to eventual acceptance albeit it with major challenges. The findings illustrate a complex narrative for both students and educators as they adjust to a new educational experience. The main finding was that both students and educators transitioned rapidly, but there is a lack of evidence that this “forced” transition repositioned the student and educator roles in a new educational ecosystem. As technological adoption continues with HE, research findings of this nature situated during the early stages of the pandemic can inform and guide the next iteration of educational and technological developments.

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