Emerging from the Covid-19 Cocoon

A critical reflection on pedagogical changes in Higher Education


  • Amanda Kowalczyk Independant Teacher, UK




Metamorphosis, Pedagogy, Blended learning, Active learning, Challenge, COVID-19


Since March 2020, teaching and learning in UK higher education has undergone a period of metamorphosis. With campus closures, lecturers and tutors could no longer rely on the teaching and learning style honed over years of in-person delivery. Despite the initial uncertainty of transformation, academic staff have adapted to the new situation, embracing new technology to assist lecture recording, seminar delivery and meetings with colleagues and students. Many will feel that they have become different teachers. Perhaps even, improved teachers, able to work in unique ways and address new challenges. For a while it appeared that teaching in higher education had been completed altered as a result. Yet student voices continue to advocate for in-person delivery. Can, and should, lecturers and tutors revert to their ‘old’ pedagogy, when the opportunity arises to return fully to the lecture theatre, classroom, or laboratory? Or have we emerged from the Covid-19 cocoon completely, and permanently, altered? This article reflects on my own experiences, based on returning to exclusively face-to-face delivery from September 2022, after two and a half years of online and blended learning.


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A row of pupae, with an insect emerging from one.






Critical Reflections