Pedagogy in the Time of Pandemic: From Localisation to Glocalisation

Robert J. Bonk, Margarita Kefalaki, Jürgen Rudolph, Fotini Diamantidaki , Carolin Rekar Munro, Sophie Karanicolas, Paraskevi Kontoleon , Karl-Heinz Pogner

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

275 Downloads (Pure)


Pandemic—the global spread of an initially local disease like COVID-19—bluntly forces us to stop. How do we respond in higher education to such stopping? Whether at the government level, for our universities, or in our classrooms, no existing playbook prescribes the pathway for dealing with a global pandemic of this magnitude, even now as we emerge from total lockdown to the potential for a new tomorrow. What we have done at this juncture is to capture anecdotal responses within and across countries that may highlight trends for later consideration. Unlike a globalised response that would adopt one approach internationally, our study considers adaptations for local differences in a glocalised set of responses in an attempt to identify new paradigms that reconceptualise not only teaching and learning, but also assessment. Our responses to the pandemic require leadership—from all of us—to leverage a firm and steady presence, care and compassion for each other, and prudent decision-making. Moreover, identified issues indicate shared threads across the seven institutions of higher education in this research. From a localised perspective emerge responses at the curricular, institutional, and technological levels. First, changes to courses and curricula must respond to emotional needs of students when transitioning from face-to-face (or hybrid) to online delivery; nevertheless, faculty must ensure that academic rigour is not sacrificed in the process. Second, the mission and value of higher education must indicate that institutions will recommit to faculty support beyond emergency remote teaching; furthermore, a sense of campus community needs to be nurtured. Third, the needs of students and faculty must drive the choices of technology—not the reverse—when determining how to transition to online deliveries; in short, administrators must reprioritise factors used in decision-making. Moreover, a glocalised synthesis of responses across all institutions and levels identifies four clustered themes. First, the disruption of the pandemic may lead to innovations in higher education. Second, the role of faculty is becoming redefined beyond content-specific disciplines. Third, educational models must expand to include individuals other than traditional students. Fourth, rigorous pedagogical scholarship, including leadership, will point to new educational insights. Overall, we stand at the crossroads. Rather than being defined by the pandemic, let us seize the opportunity to transform higher education from a paradigm that has been to the paradigm of what might be.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Education, Innovation, and Communication
Pages (from-to)17-64
Number of pages48
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Creativity
  • Crisis leadership
  • Digital education
  • Empathy
  • Global education
  • Higher education
  • Independent learners
  • Leadership
  • Learning to learn
  • Online education
  • Pandemic
  • Pedagogy
  • Student-centred

Cite this