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Challenges and opportunities: experiences of mathematics lecturers engaged in emergency remote Teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic

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posted on 2021-09-27, 10:46 authored by Eabhnat Ní Fhloinn, Olivia FitzmauriceOlivia Fitzmaurice
In this paper, we consider the experiences of mathematics lecturers in higher education and how they moved to emergency remote teaching during the initial university closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey was conducted in May–June 2020 which received 257 replies from respondents based in 29 countries. We report on the particular challenges mathematics lecturers perceive there to be around teaching mathematics remotely, as well as any advantages or disadvantages of teaching mathematics online that they report. Over 90% of respondents had little or no prior experience teaching mathematics online, and, initially, 72% found it stressful and 88% thought it time-consuming. 88% felt there was a difference between teaching mathematics in this way compared with other disciplines. Four main types of challenges were associated with emergency remote teaching of mathematics: technical challenges; student challenges; teaching challenges; and the nature of mathematics. Respondents identified flexibility as the main advantage of online teaching, with lack of interaction featuring strongly as a disadvantage. We also consider respondents’ personal circumstances during this time, in terms of working conditions and caring responsibilities and conclude by summarizing the impact they perceive this experience may have upon their future teaching. Forty-six percent% of respondents self-identified as having caring responsibilities, and 61% felt the experience would affect their future teaching.

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Publication

Mathematics;9, 2303

Publisher

MDPI

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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