Adapting to Teaching During a Pandemic: Pedagogical Adjustments for the Next Semester of Teaching During COVID-19 and Future Online Learning02 Jun 2021
COVID-19 has altered public health higher education and its impact on pedagogy will be felt long into the future. In response to social distancing measures, teaching academics implemented a number of changes to curricula. It is important to better understand and begin to evaluate these changes, as well as set a course for future changes to public health curricula both during and after the pandemic to best enable transformative learning. Teaching academics have an understanding of academic hierarchies and student perceptions and are well placed to provide insights into current and future changes to pedagogy in response to the pandemic. A survey was developed to examine changes that academics had made to their teaching in response to COVID-19. Responses were received from 63 public health teaching academics from five universities in Australia, the United States, and Canada. Public health teaching academics rapidly implemented a number of changes to their teaching, including alterations that enabled online teaching. The great majority of changes to teaching were related to tools or techniques, such as synchronous tutorials delivered in a video meeting room. There remains further work for the public health pedagogy community in reevaluating teaching aims and teaching philosophies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This could include examination of the weighting of different topics, including communicable diseases, in curricula. A series of questions to assist academics reformulating their curricula is provided. Public health teaching evolved rapidly to meet the challenges of COVID-19; however, ongoing adaptation is necessary to further enhance pedagogy.