The Sociology of a Covid-19 Virtual University

Dr. Mariam Seedat-Khan (University of KwaZulu Natal) & Dr. Aradhana Ramnund-Mansingh (MANCOSA Honoris United Universities)


The precipitous closing of schools, universities, and colleges across the globe has impacted significantly on the teaching ecosystem. The COVID-19 pandemic has metamorphosed the academy radically. Notwithstanding this histrionic shift, the augmented teaching concomitant loads of online assessments, reconfiguration of teaching templates, research and student consultations, and academic advising has extended the workday beyond any universally accepted standards. This unrecognizable teaching milieu has impacted deleteriously on women in the academy.

Socially constructed virtual COVID-19 classrooms expeditiously superseded the substitution of traditional face to face lectures. The demands for a remodeled university environment, novel teaching systems, and inventive conjectural methodologies propelled teaching and learning specialists to work assiduously.

The response to COVID-19 necessitated proficiencies in a cutting-edge technical experience together with complementing pecuniary and clerical capitals to support academics in virtual classroom deliveries. COVID-19 has demanded dexterities to compress academic content for virtual platforms. The failure to safeguard academics’ individual private space has expedited irretrievable impairment on their physical and mental health. The destruction of work-life balance and unprecedented role overload imposed on women have heightened gender exploitation in the academy.

This paper embraces two meaningful teaching and learning approaches. The first is centered on first-hand COVID-19 classrooms. It assumes a qualitative desktop methodological approach, which examines the impact of virtual teaching and learning on academics at universities in COVID-19 virtual classrooms. The second is a clinical approach that measures seven universal performance areas that are noteworthy to aspects of teaching and learning approaches for academics. The outcomes of this study indicate the challenges experienced by women who undertake the responsibility to maintain exemplary academic standards. Within the analysis of scholarship and the formulation of a clinical model, this paper examines the impact of role overload and learning to teach virtually in a gendered virtual space. We seek to provide sociological understandings and offer clinical interventions, deliberating the impact, complexities, challenges, and the position of women in the academy in these unprecedented times.

This browser does not support inline PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF


You need to be logged in to make a comment. Please Login or Register

There are no comments on this resource.

Return to Category