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Responding to the Initial Challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Analysis of International Responses and Impact in School and Higher Education

Christian M. Stracke (), Daniel Burgos (), Gema Santos-Hermosa (), Aras Bozkurt (), Ramesh Chander Sharma (), Cécile Swiatek Cassafieres (), Andreia Inamorato dos Santos (), Jon Mason (), Ebba Ossiannilsson (), Jin Gon Shon (), Marian Wan (), Jane-Frances Obiageli Agbu (), Robert Farrow (), Özlem Karakaya (), Chrissi Nerantzi (), María Soledad Ramírez-Montoya (), Grainne Conole (), Glenda Cox () and Vi Truong ()
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Christian M. Stracke: Center for Higher Education (BZH), University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany
Daniel Burgos: Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED), Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), 26006 Logrono, Spain
Gema Santos-Hermosa: Faculty of Information and Audiovisual Media, University of Barcelona, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
Aras Bozkurt: Distance Education Department, Anadolu University, Eskişehir 26470, Turkey
Ramesh Chander Sharma: Instructional Design, Ambedkar University Delhi, New Delhi 110015, India
Cécile Swiatek Cassafieres: Academic Library, Université Paris Nanterre, 92000 Nanterre, France
Andreia Inamorato dos Santos: Joint Research Centre, European Commission, 41092 Seville, Spain
Jon Mason: College of Indigenous Futures, Education & the Arts, Charles Darwin University, Darwin 0909, Australia
Ebba Ossiannilsson: Swedish Association for Distance Education (SADE), International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), OER Advocacy Committee, 22235 Lund, Sweden
Jin Gon Shon: Computer Science, Korea National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea
Marian Wan: College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
Jane-Frances Obiageli Agbu: Wuse 2 Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria, Abuja 106104, Nigeria
Robert Farrow: Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University (UK), Milton Keynes MK6 7AA, UK
Özlem Karakaya: School of Education, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA
Chrissi Nerantzi: University Teaching Academy, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BG, UK
María Soledad Ramírez-Montoya: Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey 64849, Mexico
Grainne Conole: Independent Consultant, E4innovation, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Glenda Cox: Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7701, South Africa
Vi Truong: Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Melbourne 3177, Australia

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 3, 1-23

Abstract: This paper presents and analyses solutions where open education and open science were utilised to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. The COVID-19 outbreak and associated lockdowns created huge challenges in school and higher education, demanding sudden responses which aimed to sustain pedagogical quality. Responses have varied from conservative to radically innovative. Universally, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted and shocked societies worldwide, and education systems were on the front line. The lockdowns largely stopped face-to-face and formal education in almost all countries, and in most cases, distance learning soon became the ‘new normal’. A central challenge concerned sustaining educational visions and ideals in such circumstances. To better understand the state of the art in the educational landscape, we collected case studies from 13 countries during the first year of the pandemic starting on 11 March 2020 (when the World Health Organization declared a pandemic). This paper presents summaries of the full country reports that were collected and describe lessons learned. Our overall aim was to identify good practices and recommendations from the collected case studies that can be taken forward in the future. We categorised the responses on the three generic educational levels (macro, meso and micro) and identified seven key aspects and trends that are valid for all or most countries: (1) formal education at a distance for first time; (2) similar approaches for formal education; (3) missing infrastructure and sharing open educational resources; (4) diverse teaching and learning methods and practices; (5) open education and access to open educational resources; (6) urgent need for professional development and training for teachers and (7) assessing and monitoring learning environments, teachers and students. Finally, we identified key recommendations on how open education and open science can benefit formal education in schools and universities in the future, namely, improved awareness of open educational practices, provision of ICT infrastructure, embracing and sustaining the practice of open access publications and OERs, capacity building for stakeholders and finally encouraging research and development in the area of open education and open science. We found significant evidence for the proposition that open education and open science can support both traditional face-to-face and distance learning.

Keywords: school education; higher education; distance education; online learning; open education; open science; COVID-19 pandemic; impact; educational innovation; international practices and case studies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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