When we first decided to run with a special issue on educational responses to COVID-19, little did we know that we would still be in the midst of lockdowns, emerging variants, and scary rising statistics as we reach publication. We knew that it would take time to return to some kind of normal, but not that the “new normal” will probably be drastically different from what we knew before well into the long term.
The disruption to education, and to life itself, has been on a global scale and no-one has been left untouched in some way or other. For educators it has meant embracing online learning at an unprecedented rate, with institutions scrambling to put strategies in place to reach as many students as possible. Many of the papers in this issue reflect the search for new strategies as well as looking at how policy has rushed to keep ahead of the pandemic. Our authors come from countries at both ends of the spectrum: those who are amongst the hardest hit by the coronavirus, and those who have felt the effects, but the massive scale lockdowns and devastating death totals have mercifully passed them by. Researching and writing in the midst of a pandemic, they have found the time to pass on material of value for all. Our authors represent educators from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, the United States, Sweden, Japan, Ireland, Nepal and Australia. Their papers demonstrate the global dedication to keeping education going.
In the following pages you will find papers on how faculty have coped with the pandemic, how students have been engaged, how an institution dealt with final assessments and how early childhood centres conducted “virtual” professional development. There are also papers discussing the effects of the pandemic for pre-service teachers, including professional experience possibilities. One paper explores the policies adopted by a government faced with changes to educational provision. The topics are wide ranging, but the enthusiasm to make things work shines through.
This is the last issue that I will be editing personally as I have taken up the role of Executive Editor of the IAFOR Journal of Education from the start of April. This will involve me more in developing ways to support greater understanding of how to publish and how to review, probably leading me back to my own roots: education. I would like to say at this moment that I am heartened that so many have already trusted us to publish your work and I am sure the editors of the various issues will continue to receive your hard work. My thanks to all those who have decided to publish with us.
The Impact of Faculty Experience with Emergency Remote Teaching: An Interpretive Phenomenological Study
Maha Al-Freih, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Saudi Arabia
Teaching Future Educators During a Global Pandemic
Jacquelynne Anne Boivin, Bridgewater State University, USA
Kathryn Welby, Merrimack College, USA
An Educator’s Response to COVID-19: Preservice Teachers’ Perspectives on Flipped Distance Education
Osman Çil, Kırşehir Ahi Evran University, Turkey
Why Graded Assessment for Undergraduates During the COVID-19 Lockdown? An Experience Introspection
Abdullatif Alshamsi, Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Alex Zahavich, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Samar El-Farra, Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Teaching Practice Online: Challenges in Japan, India and Kenya Under Pandemic
Per-Olof Hansson, Linköping University, Sweden
Motivating Online Learning through Project-Based Learning During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic
Avneet Hira, Boston College, Massachusetts, USA
Emma Anderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts, USA
Distance Teaching Practicum: Its Impact on Pre-Service EFL Teachers’ Preparedness for Teaching
Gülten Koşar, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey
Teacher Professional Learning Whilst in Quarantine: A Case Study from China
Kevin Laws, The University of Sydney, Australia
Feng Xun, Tengzhou Zhoudairu Kindergartens, China
Using a Design Thinking Approach for an Asynchronous Learning Platform during COVID-19
Lori Severino, Drexel University, USA
Mark Petrovich, Drexel University, USA
Samantha Mercanti-Anthony, Drexel University, USA
Samuel Fischer, Read by 4th, USA
Emergency Response in Educational Policies during COVID-19 in Nepal: A Critical Review
Sagun Shrestha, Dublin City University, Ireland
Laxman Gnawali, Kathmandu University, Nepal
Online University Teaching at the time of COVID-19 (2020): An Australian Perspective
Erika K. Smith, Western Sydney University, Australia
Ece Kaya, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
My thanks, as always, to the authors, the editors, the associate editors, the publications manager, Nick Potts, and to all the reviewers for bringing this issue and all of our other issues to you, the readers. They all continue to share their research, their words, their commitment and hard work in what has been some of the most difficult times. I have felt supported by the way in which you all rally to the call.
Enjoy reading and above all, stay safe,