Public health edicts necessitated by COVID-19 prompted a rapid pivot to remote online teaching and learning. Two major consequences followed: households became students' main learning space, and technology became the sole medium of instructional delivery. We use the ideas of "digital disconnect" and "digital divide" to examine, for students and faculty, their prior experience with, and proficiency in using, learning technology. We also explore, for students, how household lockdowns and digital capacity impacted learning. Our findings are drawn from 3806 students and 283 faculty instructors from nine higher education institutions across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. For instructors, we find little evidence of a digital divide but some evidence of a digital disconnect. However, neither made a difference to self-reported success in transitioning courses. Faculty instructors were impacted in a myriad of diverse ways. For students, we show that closure and confinement measures which created difficult living situations were associated with lower levels of confidence in learning. The digital divide that did exist among students was less influential than were household lockdown measures in undermining student learning.
Guppy, N., Boud, D., Heap, T., Verpoorten, D., Matzat, U., Tai, J., Lutze-Mann, L., Roth, M., Polly, P., Burgess, J.-L., Agapito, J., & Bartolic, S. (2021). Teaching and learning under COVID-19 public health edicts: The role of household lockdowns and prior technology usage. Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-021-00781-w