Transitioning to Online Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in the COVID-19 Era: Understanding Student and Faculty Perspectives


  • Wendell C. Wallace
  • Akinee Harry
  • Roshanna Ramdass
  • Sharlene Salina


A great majority of teaching, learning, and assessment (TLA) in higher education in the Caribbean is premised on the traditional delivery of face-to-face TLA. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a pandemic and many Caribbean educators transitioned quickly to online TLA. In light of this transition, the current study examines the challenges, benefits, opportunities, and lessons learnt as a result of the sudden transition from face-to-face to online modes of TLA at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus. A qualitative phenomenological approach was adopted and data collected from a cohort of postgraduate criminology and criminal justice students (n=20) and their lecturers (n=5) who transitioned from face-to-face to online TLA during Semester 2 of academic year 2019/2020. Thematic analyses of the data emanating from semi-structured interviews with students and lecturers indicated a multiplicity of challenges, benefits, new opportunities, and lessons learnt.