“Like a Hamster on a Spinning Wheel” – University Instructor Reactions to a Year of Teaching Online

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education & International Development (ACEID2022)
Title: “Like a Hamster on a Spinning Wheel” – University Instructor Reactions to a Year of Teaching Online
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Matthew Apple, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Daniel Mills, Ritsumeikan University, Japan


This study presents interview results from the second part of a sequential exploratory mixed methods study, in which 90 university English teachers across Japan completed an online survey about technostress, teaching motivation, and online teaching satisfaction after one semester of Emergency Remote Teaching (Apple & Mills, 2020; in review). Six teachers self-selected for Zoom interviews at the start of March 2021. Both researchers were present, with one researcher asking seven pre-prepared questions and the other taking notes while also asking follow-up questions. Participants were encouraged to explain as much as possible about their particular teaching situation as well as to describe in detail the how and why of their teaching lifestyle while reflecting on how their online teaching approach and lesson content delivery had evolved during the course of the 2020-2021 academic year. The interviews were recorded to the cloud by Zoom for automatic transcription and each researcher wrote an analytic memo which they then compared to reduce individual bias as researcher-participants. Interview transcriptions were checked for accuracy during video playback and compared to the researcher notes and analytic memos before beginning further thematic coding analysis. Preliminary results indicate that despite living in different regions of Japan and coming from diverse backgrounds, participants agreed that universities were woefully underprepared for online teaching but expressed overall satisfaction in both staff and faculty response, while remaining apprehensive about the upcoming academic year. Suggestions and recommendations for improving university support for teachers of English in an online setting will be discussed.

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