Current Affairs
How did the changeover to online teaching affect educators during COVID-19 pandemic?

A study published in a University of Malta review analysed the way that the changeover to online teaching affected 407 Maltese educators who work among children, aged between five and sixteen. Conclusions of a national study on the pandemic’s effects on students of primary, secondary and post-secondary and tertiary institutions will also be published in the coming weeks.

The research published on the Malta Review of Educational Research includes eight studies that analysed the pandemic’s impact on education and learning.

One of the studies concluded that the educators’ experience during the change over to online learning was dependent on the type of technology accessible to them and the level of training they had before the pandemic emerged.

Other factors which affected the process were the digital skills and level of confidence educators had with the technology, the age of their students, attitude towards a new experience they had to adapt to and their personal and family situation.

In another study, eight female academics, who specialize in early education, analysed the Covid impact on Maltese academics with eight narrative stories that traced, among others, the challenges faced as academics and educators to change the way they provide teaching to students

Charmaine Bonello, one of the three editors of the study, said that solitude is a challenge for researchers, particularly when they are doing academic studies, which sometimes take years.

“Covid made us realize that even if we are working alone, we have the necessary technology in order to generate more awareness with the tool and also provide an example to students that, together, we can produce more new ideas and new awareness”.

Professor Carmel Borg, from the Faculty of Education, said that the review, which has been published for 15 years, among others, researched the space outside classes as an alternative to teaching and the way that relations between parents, children, educators and teachers evolved during the peak of the pandemic.

“We also had a paper on the teachers’ feedback in the context of the pandemic and the implications of these results for an educational policy. Other papers referred to the formative assessment on the educational virtual world”.

The studies can be seen on website mreronline.org.