Emergency remote teaching and learning during COVID-19 pandemic: Efficacy of a four-stage model

Keywords: emergency remote teaching, multimodal remote teaching and learning, higher education, COVID-19 pandemic, emergency remote education, remote learning


The COVID-19 pandemic created the need for a global change in tertiary education. Universities that traditionally relied on contact with students in physical classrooms were forced to consider modes of remote teaching to mitigate the risks of infection due to physical proximity. This study evaluates the emergency remote teaching implemented within the Department of Information Technology at the Durban University of Technology, South Africa. An emergency remote teaching model with four stages consisting of: preparation, synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning, e-assessments and reflections are described, analysed and evaluated with reference to both lecturers and students. The evaluation is performed using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative analysis was performed on 29 sources using content analysis. 229 initial codes were identified and first categorized into 13 subcategories and finally to the four categories synonymous with the adopted four-stage emergency remote teaching model: preparation (135 references), asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning (67 references), e-assessments (25 references) and reflections (8 references). Quantitative data on the use of the learning management system from 2019 to 2020 evaluated the results of the applied changes in practice. From the results, it was evident that students and lecturers invested much time in the learning management system with 13 tools being adopted by the 49 analysed subjects. The learning management system was used extensively for communication, assessment and dissemination of subject content. The comparative results of the data from the 2019 and 2020 academic years showed that the majority of the 2020 subjects’ final results were statistically higher than the 2019 results. Results of analysis revealed the success of the implementation of the four-stage emergency remote teaching model.

Received: 29 June 2021
Accepted: 26 April 2022


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Author Biographies

Seena Joseph, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Lecturer in the Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Durban University of Technology, South Africa. She has received the MTech: Information Technology from Durban University of Technology, South Africa and currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Information Technology, Durban University of Technology, South Africa. Her major research interests include computer vision, image processing, image segmentation, and machine learning.

Robyn Thompson, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Lecturer in the Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Durban University of Technology, South Africa. She received her Masters in Information and Communications Technology from the Durban University of Technology in 2017 and is at present studying towards a Ph.D. in Information and Communications Technology at the same university. Robyn has lectured information technology modules at tertiary institution for 25 years and assists with the supervision of Masters and Honors students research projects. She has served as technical advisor on dissertations that implement ADVIAN for analysis of cross impact matrices with her interest being in the area of crowd computing for data collection and advanced methods of analysis of impact matrices.

Subashnie Soobramoney, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Lecturer at the Durban University of Technology(South Africa). She holds a Masters Degree in Information and Communication Technology (DUT). She has been working at the university for 21 years and has coordinated multiple academic programs over the years. Her previous research focused on E-Skills and E-learning focusing particularly on the development of disadvantaged students to improve their experience in higher education. She has Microsoft certification in MTA: Software Development Fundamentals certification, Azure AI Engineer Associate and Azure Fundamentals. She has been part of the organizing committee of the ICTAS conference since 2020. Her current research interests include Cyber Security and E-learning.

Jeanette Wendy Wing, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

PhD Information Technology from the Durban University of Technology. She is currently Head of Department: Information Technology. Jeanette’s early research focused on programming languages. For her PhD her research focus shifted to the understanding of requirements by clients for Information System Development projects. Her current research interests include Systems Thinking, the social construction of requirements, Software Engineering, Action Design Research, Human Computer Interaction and the User Experience. She has lectured students within the field of Information Technology for over 30 years, and is particularly interested in the new modes of teaching that became a necessity due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She is a professional member of the ACM and IEEE.


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How to Cite
Joseph, Seena, Robyn Thompson, Subashnie Soobramoney, and Jeanette Wendy Wing. 2022. “Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic: Efficacy of a Four-Stage Model”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 9 (2), 245-77. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe.2134.