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How Home Contexts of South African University Students Shape their Experiences of Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning

Abstract

The shift to Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated online learning at home for South African (and other) students. Using a critical paradigm, qualitative approach and case study design, this study, underpinned by critical theory, used interviews, voice notes and text messages to generate data to explore how South African university students’ home contexts shape their experiences of ERTL. Using thematic analysis, the findings indicated that student learning at home was negatively impacted by poor internet connectivity, home responsibilities, cramped living conditions, lack of safety, and financial and psycho-social stresses. The findings exposed the lived realities of students’ home contexts, made more difficult through the pandemic. This study adds to the literature on student adaptation to learning in the pandemic within home contexts characterised by resource poverty and challenging psycho-social conditions. 

Published: 2021-09-06
Section:Online First
How to Cite
Pillay, A., Khosa, M., Sheik, A., Campbell, B., Mthembu, B., & Nyika, N. (2021). How Home Contexts of South African University Students Shape their Experiences of Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning . Student Success, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.1779

Author Biographies

University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa South Africa

Ansurie Pillay, who has a PhD in English Education,  is an Associate Professor of English Education in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her research interests include participatory action research, student/ teacher agency, and teaching literature using critical pedagogy, among others. In 2017, she won the University Distinguished Teacher Award (UKZN).

University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa South Africa

Martha Khosa is a lecturer in the Language and Arts Education Cluster, specialising in  English Education, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has recently completed her PhD in Languages, Linguistics and Literature. As a linguist, she enjoys using her skills to develop and promote languages and literacies at schools.

University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa South Africa

Ayub Sheik is an Associate Professor  at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  He was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and a DAAD scholar at the University of Essen in Germany. His research preoccupations are academic literacy,  poetry and African folklore as well as  supervising research in English Education.

University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa South Africa

Bridget Campbell, a Senior Lecturer,  has been a teacher educator of English for 12 years. Her scholarship, which began with her PhD studies, is grounded in researching her own practice as a teacher educator, using self-study and memory work. Her research interests seek ways in which to understand what informs her teaching and how she may adapt her pedagogic practices to be more responsive to her students’ socio-cultural backgrounds so as to better respond to their needs and to become a change agent in her practice.

University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa South Africa

Bheki Mthembu is a lecturer in the English Education Discipline within the School of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  He also worked as an English Education specialist for many years within the NGO sector. He holds a Master’s degree in English Language Education from Kent University, a Master’s degree in Organisational and Management Systems from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Zululand. 

University of KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa South Africa

Nicholus Nyika is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His research interests include Language and Literacy, Language policy in Higher Education, and Multiliteracies.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795