Educators’ Experiences Online: How COVID-19 Encouraged Pedagogical Change in CS Education


  • Rune Hjelsvold Department of Computer Science, NTNU
  • Shaun S. Nykvist NTNU BETA
  • Madeleine Lorås Department of Computer Science, NTNU
  • Abdullah Bahmani Department of Computer Science, NTNU
  • Andreas Krokan NTNU BETA


The COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020 created a unique pedagogical change situation. Educators had to make significant and rapid changes to their teaching approaches, with the time frame being in the magnitude of hours, not weeks or months. At NTNU, a survey was conducted among the educators shortly after the lockdown to study how the educators experienced the change from campus based face-to-face learning to online learning. A total of 56 educators responded to the survey, with 22 of these affiliated with a Computer Science (CS) department. Nearly all the CS educators reported having a positive change experience during this time. More than half of the CS educators reported having prior online teaching experience, while nearly three quarters reported having sufficient or partially sufficient competence needed for the change. In this survey, CS educators highlighted pedagogical challenges as the main challenge. The findings also highlight the fact that some educators found aspects of online teaching to be better than campus based teaching and that CS educators collaborate and exchange pedagogical experience when facing change. Approximately two thirds of the CS educators reported that they consulted a more experienced person or worked closely with colleagues when making the change from a face-toface mode of delivery to that of an online only mode of delivery. Given the variety of experiences reported and the willingness to collaborate and exchange experience, it can be argued that CS staff and other departments may choose a path of knowledge sharing and communities to support future blended and online teaching opportunities.