Can Emergency Remote Education Make Universities “Smarter”? Lecturers’ Reflections About Useful Literacies

Antonella Giacosa
Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Modern Cultures


The shift of the entire education system onto digital platforms due to the coronavirus emergency has made lecturers and students massively experience digital teaching and learning, its challenges and possibilities. As with another possible lockdown looming on the new academic year Emergency response education (ERE) might have to be turned into the new normal of distance learning, the wisdom learned by the massive online experience of the last semester could contribute to planning a nimble response to educational needs in case universities have to shift online again. This paper aims at contributing to the discussion on key literacies lecturers might find useful to turn ERE into quality distance education. 24 full professors of English and English linguistics courses from 14 Italian universities have filled in an online questionnaire investigating the challenges and opportunities they have experienced during the emergency which shed light on the multiple literacies they should focus on to plan an effective response to a new emergency, which at the same time could make high school education “smarter” both in-person and online.

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