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Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Abstract

When Covid-19 forced universities in 2020 to close the doors from face-to-face education and welcome an online hybrid approach, academics had to adjust all educational practices to ensure quality and proper education continued successfully. An introductory Academic Information Management course that deals mainly with computer literacy and has a cohort of over 9000 students had to find ways to help bridge the digital gap using online digital technology. The issues with internet connectivity, load shedding, and students not having compatible devices were just the start of the problems. Many students could cheat the online systems because assessments were not set for online learning; facilitators were not adequately prepared for this new shift to online education, and many felt stressed and overwhelmed. This study discusses the strategies implemented and the lessons learned after universities' shutdown in 2020 and the new approach in 2021. Digital technology plays a critical role in online education, and the assumption that students are ready to use any technological system for online learning is considered. Learner-centred teaching and learner engagement is one of the goals the module aims to satisfy. Online collaborative learning theories that deal with constructivism, behaviourism, and cognitivism were explored and implemented to improve teaching and learning. The reflections of this study can help academics in a similar environment adjust to online education and adopt the learning strategies that have proved to be successful. Further investigation is needed to explore approaches to engage and innovate large cohorts of students.

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