Teaching Matters

PS8 R5 Creating an international COVID-19 pandemic learning community

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 2 December 20202 Dec 2020


Creating an international COVID-19 pandemic learning community


  • Joseph Crawford, Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching, Academic Division*
  • Kerryn Butler-Henderson, School of Health Sciences, CoHM
  • Dr Karima Lalani, Baylor College of Medicine, United States of America
  • Dr Jurgen Rudolph, Kaplan Higher Education, Singapore
  • Professor Sabu K. M., Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India


Digital connections

Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Room 5




The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has influenced Higher Education decision-makers, educators, students, and stakeholders in an almost unique way for twenty-first century education (Crawford et al. 2020a; Thatcher et al., 2020). Higher Education institutions engaged in one of three key intra-period responses: rapid digitalisation, responding to minimum standards, and/or delayed commencement (Crawford et al., 2020b). Knowledge sharing across jurisdictions has been limited for Higher Education, despite some 138 manuscripts published on COVID-19 and Higher Education between January and June 2020 (see Butler-Henderson et al., 2020). That number will more than double between July and December 2020.

To support the Higher Education sector to share knowledge, we set out to form meaningful digital connections across geographic boundaries (Fernandez & Shaw, 2020; Spante et al., 2018). The aim of this presentation is to showcase the successes of the collaboration to date, and the opportunities for growth because of our growing collaborative network. We believe the rapid growth in our digital network relating to Higher Education research and COVID-19 may provide practical wisdom for other researchers seeking to engage in similar pursuits within their discipline context.

On successes, this learning project has connected 24 researchers across 14 countries to create meaningful and internationally contextualised research (as of 22 September 2020). This has included briefing papers to specific institutions, peer reviewed journal articles, keynote and conference presentations, and the development of an open access database. Time zone management, cold calling, digital literacy, and difficult conversations are among factors informing our learnings.


Butler-Henderson, K., Crawford, J., Rudolph, J., Lalani, K., & Sabu, K. M. (2020). COVID-19 in Higher Education Literature Database (CHELD V1): An open access systematic literature review database with coding rules. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 3(2), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.37074/jalt.2020.3.2.11

Crawford, J., Butler-Henderson, K., Rudolph, J., Malkawi, B., Glowatz, M., Burton, R., ... & Lam, S. (2020a). COVID-19: 20 countries' higher education intra-period digital pedagogy responses. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 3(1), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.37074/jalt.2020.3.1.7

Crawford, J., Percy, A., & Kelder, J. (2020b). JUTLP Editorial 17.3: Connection, digital education, and student-centric teaching practice before COVID-19. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(3), 1-7.

Fernandez, A., & Shaw, G. (2020). Academic Leadership in a Time of Crisis: The Coronavirus and COVID-19. Journal of Leadership Studies, 14(1), 39-45. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002%2Fjls.21684

Spante, M., Hashemi, S., Lundin, M., & Algers, A. (2018). Digital competence and digital literacy in higher education research: Systematic review of concept use. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1519143. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2018.1519143

Thatcher, A., Zhang, M., Todoroski, H., Chau, A., Wang, J., & Liang, G. (2020). Predicting the Impact of COVID-19 on Australian Universities. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 13(9), 188. https://doi.org/10.3390/jrfm13090188

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