Emergency professional development in higher education: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

Cesar Alejandro Armellini, Brenda Cecilia Padilla Rodriguez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The global COVID-19 crisis continues to shape the current digital higher education (HE) landscape. This chapter explores institutional change by focusing on the preparedness of academic staff to respond to the need for rapid pedagogic adaptation. It examines the associated professional development requirements and the challenges faced. It draws from survey data provided by lecturers and tutors globally (n=136) as part of the eduCOVID19 project in 2020. By switching face-to-face practices to emergency remote teaching, academics spearheaded large-scale change in their universities. With little or no institutional guidance, they took responsibility for their own professional development to acquire the knowledge and skills they needed to teach online. Their readiness correlated positively and significantly with their digital competence and their prior pedagogical knowledge. Workload emerged as a major concern. Emotional support was a common request. Emergency remote teaching constituted an opportunity to learn about pedagogy, triggering a form of ‘emergency professional development’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook for Digital Higher Education
EditorsRhona Sharpe, Sue Bennett, Tünde Varga-Atkins
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781800888487
ISBN (Print)9781800888487
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameElgar Handbooks in Education
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing


  • institutional change
  • academic staff development
  • emergency professional development
  • CPD
  • teaching
  • higher education
  • pedagogy


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