Identifying key variables on the way to wellbeing in the transition from face-to-face to online higher education due to COVID-19: Evidence from the Q-sort technique (Open Access)

  • Authors:
    Pilar Gómez del Rey, Francisco de Asís Fernández Navarro, María José Vázquez de Francisco
  • Publication:
  • Year: 2021


This paper reports perceptions of higher education lecturers who switched from classical face-to-face teaching to online teaching due to the unexpected circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a validated theoretical model about the roles of instructors in online settings, the authors document the perceptions of experienced face-to-face lecturers regarding their performance in online roles and the perceived importance of the formal and informal support they received during the process of adapting to a sudden online context. The study was based on the Q-sort methodology. Among other conclusions, our research reveals that the best performance we elicited pertained to the technical role, followed by the managerial role and the support received through informal channels. Worryingly, the worst performance pertained to promoting life skills. This finding is especially alarming considering both the UNESCO humanistic vision of universities as promoters of university community development and wellbeing and SDG 4.7 of Agenda 2030, which states that education should ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development through education on sustainable development and lifestyles. This article is meant to provide guidelines to traditional universities to help them overcome weaknesses and enhance strengths when switching to online learning.

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