Seeing through the eyes of a teacher: differences in perceptions of HE teaching in face-to-face and digital contexts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Studies of how contextual factors influence teachers’ approaches to teaching have chiefly focused on face-to-face teaching in physical campus contexts. This study advances understanding of how applicable this knowledge is in digital contexts. The study explores how university teachers perceive the differences between teaching in physical campus contexts and the digital teaching contexts found in online courses. Interview data were collected from 15 university teachers and analysed using thematic analysis. The results show that respondents perceived digital teaching contexts to be changeable. Changes were attributed to technology development and influences from students and teachers. The respondents varied in how close or anonymous they perceived their online students to be compared to their campus students. The variation was related to the type of teaching-learning activities prioritised by the respondents. However, no relationships were found between respondents’ perceptions of their student-teacher relationship and class size, time invested, or type of communication.


External organisations
  • University of Bedfordshire
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Didactics


  • context effect, Higher education, teacher student relationship, teaching methods, technology uses in education
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Nov 13
Publication categoryResearch