Lessons learnt from the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown

Case study of an online students’ MS Teams project


  • Leigh Quadling-Miernik




Learning Support, MS Teams, pandemic, lockdown


This paper outlines an investigation of the impact of Students Online, a programme that was created in Microsoft (MS) Teams during New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown of March-May 2020. Students Online was developed by the Learning Hub, the learning support centre for a large tertiary institution in response to an international student’s request for a way for students to meet and practise English. The study aimed to investigate the experiences of those who engaged with the Students Online programme and derive implications for possible future improvement. Participants were drawn from Learning Hub staff and students who interacted within the programme. Offering focused learning support as well as sessions about life in New Zealand, the most significant benefit of Students Online was the overall sense of togetherness at a time when many aspects of life were disconnected. Other benefits highlighted by participants included improved communication between students and the Learning Hub, offering a “mental release” during the day, building relationships, and enhancing the institute’s value as supportive. This study found that the Students Online programme was considered generally useful and successful, and provides suggested modifications for similar such programmes in future.


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