The interest in facilitating digitization in higher education has been the hallmark of the past decade. Before the eruption of the pandemic, there had been a slow but steady progression toward digital learning. Many funds were dedicated to research on integrating digital resources in the classroom and the role they play in revolutionizing education. The stable and sustainable progression was hampered by the COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown, which caused an expeditious transition toward an online mode of education as a form of Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT, Hodges et al., 2020).

Even though ERT involved an alternate remote education, it was not well-planned and pedagogically guided, as many teachers were not ready for this sudden shift. As the TPACK framework suggests, teachers not only need content knowledge and pedagogical skills but also technical knowledge to harness the best digital tool for teaching (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). Therefore, teachers need to develop digital skills themselves in order to be able to conduct any effective online teaching. Especially in the beginning of ERT, many teachers at our university expressed daunting concerns regarding student engagement and the effectiveness of the entire digital encounter. Teachers (including me) were receiving black screens, students lying in their beds, students eating, students chatting with family members, etc.

Solutions and methods for conducting online teaching were done on the fly, as we move on with our teaching. It was much more like a “learning by doing” approach to online teaching. While the journey was laborious, it was definitely worthwhile. Now, it may be so tempting to continue conducting online teaching, and this is perhaps the future of higher education to have some online mode of education or at least blended.

When the restrictions were lifted and campus teaching was back on track, I realized that many students who were complaining about Zooming are now asking for it, especially as teaching is much more convenient for them (commuting and time aspects). Many students request changes in their schedules in cases campus teaching could easily be conducted online. In my institution, this is not allowed as any changes to online teaching has to be pedagogically motivated and not because it is more convenient for students or teachers. What becomes apparent now is that campus teaching should be optimitized so that students can see the value of face-to-face teaching. We have to think as teachers about how we can make a trip to the campus more worthwhile than a cozy and costless home teaching. I think attention will slowly shift toward optimatizing in-person teaching in the future. Nevertheless, they will always be efforts to create effective online teaching.


Hodges, C. (2020). The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning. EDUCAUSE review.

Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.

Optimatzing campus teaching in the aftermath of Emergency Remote Teaching