The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) required the sudden closing of educational institutions to save lives. Universities had to adopt and adapt to new teaching strategies to ensure that no learner was left behind. The purpose of this study is to describe the challenges experienced by university lecturers teaching health courses in adopting online teaching strategies. The objective of the study is to explore challenges experienced by university health course lecturers in a university from South Africa in managing online teaching platforms and the strategies employed by them to enhance online teaching. The study adopted a qualitative interpretative phenomenological approach engaging six purposefully sampled lecturers teaching health courses in a historically disadvantaged university in South Africa. Data were obtained through online methods such as blackboard meetings, in addition to face-to-face and telephone interviews. Preliminary findings revealed both positive and negative experiences in offering health courses online. Positive experiences included flexible time management, fuel-saving, and multi-tasking. Negative experiences included challenges such as lack of experience in designing online content, lack of knowledge to create a conducive teaching environment, students’ incapacity to engage in learning tools, poor lecturer-student interaction, and difficulty integrating theory into practice. So far, it has been concluded that a sudden shift to online teaching needs to consider the skill-level of lecturers, learners, and the courses offered. A one size fits all approach may not be an option.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).