Original Research - Special Collection: Wars and pandemics economic and financial consequences

Developing country educators’ experiences of higher education teaching during COVID-19

Monique Keevy, Grietjie Verhoef, Meredith Tharapos
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 16, No 1 | a829 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v16i1.829 | © 2023 Monique Keevy, Grietjie Verhoef, Meredith Tharapos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 August 2022 | Published: 15 June 2023

About the author(s)

Monique Keevy, Department of Accountancy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Grietjie Verhoef, Department of Accountancy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Meredith Tharapos, School of Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain, College of Business and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract

Orientation: Higher education institutions (HEIs) globally were required to transition from face-to-face to online learning to circumvent lockdowns, social distancing and other public health interventions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Research purpose: This study examined the experiences of developing country educators of higher education teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Motivation for the study: The study aims to understand the influence of the pandemic on the delivery of a quality programme to enable developing country HEIs to better withstand challenges arising from future social disruptions.

Research approach/design and method: The study employs a qualitative methodology comprising semi-structured interviews with educators from HEIs situated in two African developing countries.

Main findings: The findings of this study indicate that educators were able to transition to online offerings amid the pandemic and employ new tools, systems and innovative delivery methods, despite the lack of contingency plans. However, the digital divide was amplified for their student cohort because of the cost and reliability of the internet and the absence of suitable devices. This in turn resulted in educators often resorting to teacher-centric teaching practices. The findings also highlight that online assessments were compromised in terms of quality and integrity.

Contribution/value-add: Far from being just a disruption, the pandemic is an indication of the urgent need to build sustainable HEIs for educators to deliver quality academic programmes to assume their intellectual responsibility toward society.


Keywords

COVID-19; developing country; digital divide; higher education; information technology; online learning; social disruption.

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Crossref Citations

1. Using an extended professional project to develop professional skills among rural South African accounting students
Monique Keevy, Meredith Tharapos, Brendan T. O’Connell, Grietjie Verhoef, Paul de Lange, Nicola J. Beatson
Accounting Education  first page: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1080/09639284.2023.2283441