Reflexive transformative approach to student-centred learning: Insights from the frontlines of Australian higher education teaching during COVID-19

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Public Relations Education, 2021, 7, (3)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
COVID-19 has impacted the education sector in a host of ways (including financial, operational and pedagogical), many of which are unprecedented. When the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on the 12th of March 2020, many universities around the world followed the lockdown protocols issued by their governments. This article adopts a case study approach to describe the impact that COVID-19 has had on a specific university teaching and learning experience by examining how teachers at one university responded to the sudden shift to online learning. This article discusses key learnings from two practitioners working in Public Relations and Communication disciplines in an Australian university, focusing on three key areas of impact: technology, class and content design, and student and staff care. It analyses how three approaches to higher education pedagogy: student-centred learning, active learning classrooms, and teacher reflexivity have been adapted/adopted in this process as described in our ‘Structure, strategy, and sensibility: Pillars of transformative teaching practice framework’. Finally, this article demonstrates that although there were obvious and disruptive challenges faced by teaching staff in shifting to online learning, these challenges were met with equally unique opportunities for personal growth, professional development and learning and teaching innovation.
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