The switch to online teaching during the first COVID-19 lockdown: A comparative study at four European universities


  • Tomas Kaqinari University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Elena Makarova University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Jacques Audran Université de Strasbourg, France
  • Anna K. Döring University of Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Kerstin Göbel University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Dominique Kern University of Upper Alsace, France


Educational technology, COVID-19, higher education, emergency online teaching, self-efficacy, university lecturers


In 2020, for the first time in history, COVID-19 measures necessitated emergency online teaching to ensure continuity of education. Although institutional support was offered to lecturers, the situation posed an extraordinary challenge for university teaching. Using a comparative approach, this study surveys lecturers from different countries and their use of educational technology for emergency online teaching. Its focus lies on the relationships between use of educational technology, online teaching self-efficacy and attitudes towards educational technology. Overall and according to reports, the use of educational technology increased significantly compared to pre-pandemic conditions. The universities studied had different levels of digitalization, which influenced lecturers’ use of educational technology. Furthermore, lecturers differed in terms of self-efficacy, attitude, and perception. Regarding factors affecting educational technology use, results showed that especially pre-pandemic experiences with educational technology, as well as self-efficacy and perceptual variables influenced the use of educational technology during the pandemic. Based on these results, it is advisable for universities to embrace this ad hoc switch to online teaching as an opportunity for purposeful digitalization of university teaching.


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How to Cite

The switch to online teaching during the first COVID-19 lockdown: A comparative study at four European universities. (2021). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 18(5).