Silver linings: Developing a model of fully online teaching and learning during a global pandemic

Garrity, Sheila
Kelly, Valerie
Thompson Long, Bonnie
Garrity, Sheila, Kelly, Valerie, & Thompson Long, Bonnie. (2022). Silver Linings: Developing a Model of Fully Online Teaching and Learning during a Global Pandemic. Galway: Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, University of Galway,
Silver Linings reports on study to develop a fully online teaching and learning model, particularly relevant in adult-learning contexts. Commencing in January of 2020 and based at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, at the University of Galway, the initial plan was for a small scale pilot; however, the emerging context of the global Covid19 pandemic necessitated the rapid upscaling of the project amid unprecedented circumstances. The research therefore involved a larger cohort than originally planned, providing a more robust grounding for the proposed model – the silver lining of the pandemic, as it were. An ethically approved pragmatic research design involved data collection through confidential mixed-methods surveys of students and tutors involved in the online delivery of the Early Childhood Studies programmes at the CALPD, during the 2020-2021 academic year. The resultant CALPD Model of Fully Online Teaching & Learning includes core constituent elements: a specific module design; module preparation and delivery; tutor training and online support; and, ongoing support for student engagement. The model is conceptually underpinned from andragogical, social constructivist, and inclusive learning perspectives. Critically, key supporting actors have central roles in articulating the rationale and aims of the model to participants, be they educators or learners. In addition, these actors facilitate ongoing engagement, provide reliable and responsive oversight, while ensuring model fidelity. The CALPD Model provides an evidence-based framework on which to develop online teaching and learning experiences. This model should be of interest to educational institutions embracing digital learning technologies and the opportunities these afford, particularly targeting the adult learner, upskilling and/or seeking professional development opportunities, in a context of life-long learning.
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, University of Galway
Publisher DOI
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)