Profiles of Instructor Responses to Emergency Distance Learning

Teomara Rutherford, Sarah Karamarkovich, Di Xu, Tamara Tate, Brian Sato, Rachel Baker, Mark Warschauer


To understand instruction during the spring 2020 transition to emergency distance learning (EDL), we surveyed a sample of instructors teaching undergraduate EDL courses at a large university in the southwest. We asked them how frequently they used and how confident they were in their ability to implement each of nine promising practices, both for their spring 2020 EDL course and a time when they previously taught the same course face-to-face (F2F). Using latent class analysis, we examined how behavioral frequencies and confidence clustered to form meaningful groups of instructors, how these groups differed across F2F and EDL contexts, and what predicted membership in EDL groupings. Results suggest that in the EDL context, instructors fell into one of three profiles in terms of how often they used promising practices: Highly Supportive, Instructor Centered, and More Detached. When moving from the F2F to EDL context, instructors tended to shift “down” in terms of their profile—for example, among F2F Highly Supportive instructors, 34% shifted to the EDL Instructor Centered profile and 30% shifted to the EDL More Detached Profile. Instructors who reported lower self-efficacy for EDL practices were also more likely to end up in the EDL More Detached profile. These results can assist universities in understanding instructors' needs in EDL, and what resources, professional development, and institutional practices may best support instructor and student experiences.


emergency distance learning, self-efficacy, promising practices

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