From the Spring of 2020, measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic have reduced permitted occupancy rates of classrooms and even led to temporary closure of universities. University lecturers were compelled to adapt lectures to online formats so that they could be accessible remotely. The unprecedented and unforeseen extent of adaptations are an interesting object of study for research into higher education didactics, especially because of the possibilities for comparisons across countries and continents.
Already, initial publications are analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of remote learning, and in the coming years and decades numerous studies will provide valuable lessons for the development of higher education teaching. Presently, a well-founded evaluation is hardly possible with limited hindsight. Notwithstanding that, the current state of knowledge allows the formulation of the following assumptions:
- The adaptations could be based on existing tools (Learning management systems). Although the products are not optimal, they were able to meet the basic requirements for improvised distance learning and they were further developed.
- Pure distance learning remains a specific format that can only be implemented with time and specific skills. Further development of hybrid learning on the other hand, could permanently enrich many study programs, but requires adjustments not only to didactics and methodology, but also to content. Adjustments in these aspects can be very time consuming..
- These new forms of teaching challenge learners' self-regulatory and digital skills.
The thematic issue "Higher Education Didactics and Education" takes this as an opportunity to evaluate the current, post-pandemic state-of-affairs and to reflect on development prospects. Contributions could focus on the following areas of contention or deal with other relevant topics:
- What next: The experiences with hybrid learning formats during Covid-19 as a "game changer"?
- Teaching Offers: What are the trends in terms of the development of teaching offers based on Covid-19-online-learning experiences?
- How does the balance between research and teaching, which are in constitutive unity at universities evolve?
- Learners: Online learning offers require specific competences (e.g. autonomy) of the learners. How is this competence development supported?
- University development: The resulting experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic show the importance of the digitalization of a wide variety of processes at universities. How do these developments affect the workload required for administrative (non-teaching and non-research) tasks?
Contributions ought to refer to empirical experiences and establish a theoretical reference in the analysis. Of particular interest is the elaboration of (presumed) cultural space specific aspects (language space, nation-state, etc.). These allow readers a comparative analysis of the contributions (English, German, French).
The paper will have to be submitted via the electronic submission system of bildungsforschung. Please visit the website of https://bildungsforschung.org for further information on standards and citations.