It's online, but is it learning? - A reflection on the acceleration towards digital distance learning (DDL) in mainstream higher education.




eLearning, Learning Theories, Widening Participation


The Coronavirus pandemic during the past two years (March 2020 – March 2022) has accelerated investment in, and the use of, digital distance learning (DDL). The transition towards DDL in mainstream higher education during this period has expanded both in terms of depth and breadth. Few academic practitioners, observers, managers, or students could have foreseen this rapid pace of change.  Unprecedented government interventions in social contact and mobility presented little choice to universities than to adapt in response. The emergency pandemic conditions created an opportunity to implement changes to delivery methods with far less consideration or scrutiny than would have otherwise in more normal times.In this position paper, I provide a brief history of distance learning as a backdrop then to explore some of ‘deeper’ pedagogical implications of these rapid change transition to DDL in mainstream higher education.

Author Biography

Peter VLACHOS, University of Greenwich

Principal LecturerDepartment of Marketing, Events, and TourismFaculty of BusinessUniversity of Greenwich


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