(Re) learning to teach in the context of crises

Editors: Nyna Amin & Rubby Dhunpath


Face-to-face interaction is the dominant mode of teaching and learning in higher education despite the upsurge and development of technology-based platforms, programmes, management systems and learning portals. Up-take of modes to displace the dependence on contact teaching and learning has been slow or absent, even though higher education institutions have instituted development programmes, mentorships and resources for staff. However, the sudden, swift and deadly emergence of the Covid-19 virus has significantly changed attitudes and preferences and galvanised higher education practitioners towards technology-based, online teaching in unanticipated ways.

Furthermore, the State’s response to Covid-19 has created, for the first time, a unique and common set of conditions that affect both students and lecturers:  isolation, detachment, uncertainty, ambiguity and fear. It has also generated a common realisation that online teaching and learning offers solutions that ensure continuity and connectivity (with complications). Consequently, higher education has to engage in (re)learning to teach for this intense situation of abnormality. Indeed the training of higher education practitioners for the lockdown and shutdown period and the post Covid-19 era has increased dramatically and is being implemented in numerous ways that require deeper examination.

One domain that requires deeper examination is that while higher education feverishly attempts to maintain some semblance of normality in curriculum delivery by moving their offerings online, the impact of these approaches is yet to be scientifically evaluated and their pedagogic merits appraised.  As we scramble to mitigate the effects of the 2020 ‘lockdown’ by invoking the well intentioned discourse of online learning, we should consider whether we are dabbling in what Morris has labelled "Panic-gogy" (panic + pedagogy), rather than a fundamental re-appraisal of our pedagogies.


To that end, we are calling for scholarly book chapters that analyse and theorise:

  • (Re)learning to teach in during the shutdown/lockdown period
  • Rethinking staff development training programmes for online teaching and learning
  • Reassessing the implementation of technology-based and online platforms
  • Reviewing affordances and challenges of online teaching and learning
  • Reconsidering contextual complexities in the face of online teaching and learning
  • Re-imagining online teaching and learning


Interested contributors are encouraged to submit their abstracts to the Alternation guest editor of this special edition, Prof Nyna Amin (Amin@ukzn.ac.za) and Dr Rubby Dhunpat (Dhunpath@ukzn.ac.za). The SUBJECT line of the email should read as: COVID-19 Tourism Abstract by... (Name of the corresponding author).



  • A succinct title
  • A brief abstract (± 200 words) which includes at least the focus of the study, the importance of the study/ contribution to knowledge, the methodological approach adopted and key findings/ aspects to be covered
  • Author/s name/s
  • Author/s institutional affiliation
  • Contact details



  • Friday 8 May 2020 Deadline for submission of abstracts
  • Friday 18 May 2020 Final date for decisions on abstract
  • Friday 26 June 2020 Final date for submission of paper
  • Friday 1 July to Friday 24 July, Peer review process
  • Friday 21 August 2020 Submission of final edited papers
  • Friday 4 September 2020 Publication



Alternation is a fully accredited, peer-reviewed South African Department of Higher Education and Training journal. It is edited by Prof J.A. Smit, former Dean and Head of School, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, and published at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, on an Open Access platform. All articles are subject to peer-review by at least two independent peer reviewers. All articles that pass the review process, and that are accepted for publication, will be published online, at: http://alternation.ukzn.ac.za/archive.aspx

The Alternation homepage is available at: http://alternation.ukzn.ac.za/Homepage.aspx



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