Flexible curriculum to meet the needs of disadvantaged students during the Pandemic

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This Chapter presents a critical reflection on the challenges encountered in teaching during the Pandemic and the lessons learned in advancing higher education. The COVID-19 Pandemic exposed inequalities in our society and academic institutions. The Pandemic demonstrated the need for flexibility in learning and teaching, such as supporting students with internet access issues; using clinical virtual simulation to replace the need for face-to-face teaching and so cutting travel to learning centres. The challenges were particularly felt by students with special issues like caring responsibilities, mental health issues, migrant backgrounds, living in rural and remote areas, and students experiencing poverty. It also demonstrated support to counter misinformation that preyed on vulnerable students and support for students with personal challenges such as access to technology. In the process, the Pandemic showed the importance of adopting the principles of caring, as presented by the African philosophy of Ubuntu and the Wiradjuri wisdom of ‘Yindyamarra Winhanganha’. The findings reported in this Chapter are based on a literature review and illustrated with two teaching cases to explore the experiences of teachers and learners during the Pandemic. The first case illustrates how social work teaching responds to COVID-19 by shifting skills workshops. The second shows a response to a student facing multiple challenges during the Pandemic
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Layered Landscape of Higher Education: Capturing Curriculum, Diversity and Cultures of Learning in Australia
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


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