The International Impact of COVID-19 and “Emergency Remote Teaching” on Computer Science Education Practitioners

Tom Crick, Cathryn Knight, Richard P Watermeyer, Janet Goodall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


In March 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic imposed “emergency remote teaching” across education globally, leading to a rapid shift to online learning, teaching and assessment (LT&A) across all settings, from schools through to universities. This paper looks specifically at the impact of these disruptive – and ongoing – changes to those teaching the discipline of computer science across the world. Drawing on the quantitative and qualitative findings from a large-scale international survey (N=2,483) conducted in the immediate aftermath of the shift online between March–April 2020, we reporthowthoseteachingcomputerscienceacrossalleducational settings and contexts (n=327) show significantly more positive attitudestowardsthemovetoonlineLT&Athanthoseworkingin other disciplines. When comparing educational setting, computer science practitioners in schools felt more prepared and confident than those in higher education; however, they expressed greater concern around equity and whether students would be able to access and meaningfully engage with online LT&A. Furthermore, while practitioners across all sectors consistently noted the potential opportunities of these changes, they also raised a number of wider concerns on the impact of this shift to online, especially on workload and job precarity. Concerns were also raised by international computer science practitioners regarding the ability to effectively deliver technical topics online, as well as the impact on formal examinations and assessment. This rapid response snapshot of the early impact of COVID-19 on computer science education internationally provides insight into emerging LT&A strategies that will likely continue to be constrained by coronavirus into 2021 and possibly beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Jan 2021
EventEDUCON2021 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference: Women in Engineering - fully online
Duration: 21 Apr 202123 Apr 2021
Conference number: 12


ConferenceEDUCON2021 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
Internet address

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