Online education, virtual learning, distance learning during COVID-19


In higher education, pivoting quickly to a fully virtual experience online in the midst of a global pandemic is an adventure. There are marked differences between the online experience for a student who was already in a web-delivered course versus one that started face-to-face and quickly pivoted to an online setting. Some assignments, lessons, and courses are easily delivered in alternate formats while other learning opportunities are much more difficult to transition for online delivery. For example, assignments that involve internships or in-person experiences had to shift dramatically, be delayed, or cancelled. Beyond the experiences within the higher education classroom, effects of the pandemic may have pivoted our family lives at home as well. Many children were suddenly home doing school from home, some with immense amounts of self-motivation and others needing extensive amounts of help and assistance from their parents who are also trying to take courses or work from home themselves. One of the authors of this chapter had many students in the hospitality industry in Central Florida who were suddenly laid off as a result of the pandemic and were shifting focus of trying to make ends meet or avoid homelessness. Relational humanity and flexibility from faculty is essential in a pandemic for the students struggling with so much in their lives to be able to continue in their courses and higher education experiences.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Eadens, D.M., & Eadens, D.W. (2021). Pivoting to Deeper Experiences in Higher Education Classrooms. In A. Thornburg, R. Ceglie, D. Abernathy (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Lessons Learned from Transitioning to Virtual Classrooms During a Pandemic (pp. 277-290), IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6557-5. ISBN13: 9781799865575.

Document Type

Book Chapter



Publication Version



College of Community Innovation and Education


Orlando (Main) Campus


Educational Leadership Higher Education



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