Teaching in a COVID-19 pandemic: perceptions and practices of university faculty in Spain

Keywords: higher education, qualitative research, teaching practice, university faculty, COVID-19 pandemic


The full impact of the COVID-19 crisis on higher education remains unclear, with some topics still under-researched. This research explores the challenges faced by Spanish academics during emergency remote teaching and is a pioneering study in this context due to the number of participating universities and variety of profiles of university faculty. Three focus groups were conducted to gain a deeper understanding on two dimensions: academic (methodology, materials, assessment, workload and institutional response) and personal (socio-emotional dimension, work–life balance and learnings). The main findings revealed the extensive adaptation of university faculty to the new situation and collected a series of teaching strategies. The conclusions reflect on the role that universities should play in the coming years, not only in the Spanish context but also at an international level. Most importantly, our findings can be taken into consideration for further research and teacher education policy in higher education.

Received: 15 March 2022 
Accepted: 24 July 2023


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Author Biographies

Lucía Sánchez-Tarazaga, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

PhD in Education, Universitat Jaume I, Spain. Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. Professor at the Universitat Jaume I, in the Department of Pedagogy and Didactics of Social Sciences, Language and Literature. Her teaching is focused on initial teacher training, mainly in the bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education and the Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. She coordinates the research group IDOCE (Innovation, Development and Competences in Education) and she is co-leading a project related to university faculty’s professional development and teaching competences in a digital world. Her research interests lie in the areas of teacher competences, teachers’ professional development and educational policy.

Aida Sanahuja, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

PhD in Education, Universitat Jaume I (International PhD). Master’s Degree in Secondary Education Teacher and University Master’s Degree in Family Intervention and Mediation. Professor in the Department of Pedagogy and Didactics of Social Sciences, Language and Literature, Universitat Jaume I. She is a member of the Educational Improvement and Critical Citizenship Research Group (MEICRI) and collaborates with the Laboratoire International sur l’inclusion scolaire (LISIS). Her current lines of research are inclusive and democratic classroom practices, the school included in the territory and participatory action research processes.

Carla Colomer, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

PhD in Psychology. She was an Associate professor at Universitat Jaume I of Castellón (Spain) when the research was conducted. She has taught in Psychology, Pedagogy, Psychopedagogy Degrees. Her recent research interests include higher education policy, teaching and learning.

Reina Ferrández-Berrueco, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

PhD in Philosophy and Educational Science. Associate Professor of Research Methods and Assessment in Education at Jaume I University. Expert in Quality Assessment in Higher Education. She was the director of the Department of Pedagogy and Didactics of Social Sciences, Language and Literature and teaches in different modules related to innovation, quality and performance indicators. She also coordinates the research group IDOCE. Her main research activity is related to Quality in Higher Education from different perspectives related to assessment, curriculum development and teaching competences.


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How to Cite
Sánchez-Tarazaga, Lucía, Aida Sanahuja, Carla Colomer, and Reina Ferrández-Berrueco. 2023. “Teaching in a COVID-19 Pandemic: Perceptions and Practices of University Faculty in Spain”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 11 (1), 267-94. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe.2385.