Exploring Student-Centered Teaching and Learning Experiences In Higher Education During Emergency Remote Instruction




Benfaida, Natasja

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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore student-centered teaching and learning experiences of University of Victoria (UVic) students and instructors during the fall of 2020, a time when higher education institutions such as UVic suddenly taught most of its face-to-face courses online with various education technology in response to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions. Ten UVic students and five instructors participated in semi-structured interviews to share their experiences during this period of emergency remote instruction, also known as emergency remote teaching. The interview questions were created according to the indicators of teaching, social, and cognitive presence in the constructivist Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. The findings of the study demonstrated how the study’s participants engaged in teaching, social, and cognitive presence while using the Brightspace learning management system and other education technology. The students and instructors interacted with each other and the instructional content through Brightspace primarily for organizational and instructional purposes. While Brightspace supported the development of the CoI’s teacher and cognitive presence, social media and Zoom’s video conferencing feature, chat and break-out rooms predominantly supported the development of social presence. The findings also identified student-centered teaching and learning practices according to the CoI framework. Furthermore, the findings of the research highlighted how socio-cultural context and technology use directly impacted the development of teaching, social, and cognitive presences during emergency remote instruction.



emergency remote instruction, emergency remote teaching, community of inquiry, higher education, student-centered learning, teaching presence, social presence, cognitive