All That You Can’t Leave Behind - Essential Post-COVID Technology and Pedagogy


  • Maynard Schaus Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Susan Larkin Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Denise Wilkinson Virginia Wesleyan University



higher education, COVID-19 Pandemic, technology, instructional approach, face-to-face instruction, pedagogy


The COVID-19 pandemic forced many institutions to adapt quickly and substitute technology-based online or remote instruction in place of in-person instruction. This adaptation caused many faculty to develop new technology fluencies, which can provide more flexibility and innovation moving forward. However, the technological lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic are somewhat conflicting, as we have also learned that there are places where in-person instruction is extremely valuable. As we move beyond COVID-19 protocols, there are many important implications for universities seeking to effectively instruct an increasingly diverse student body in ways that reflect both their mission and core values and also take into account the changing landscape of higher education.

This article considers the lessons that Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) learned during the pandemic and how these experiences will shape instruction moving forward. Through a series of remote technology workshops, reflective collaboration, and focus groups, many faculty identified new approaches using technology that they will continue to incorporate into instruction post-pandemic while still maintaining the face-to-face instruction that is highly valued at institutions like VWU. We will discuss how to balance and bring together the best aspects of both traditional pedagogies and the new practices learned.

Author Biographies

Maynard Schaus, Virginia Wesleyan University

Dr. Maynard Schaus currently serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Virginia Wesleyan University. Dr. Schaus received his B.S. in Biology from California Lutheran University and his Ph.D. in Zoology from Miami University (Ohio). He has been a member of the Virginia Wesleyan Biology faculty since 1998, and contributed to the development of the Environmental Studies program. He previously served as Associate Provost and Dean of University College, Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Director of Undergraduate Research. Since assuming the role of VPAA, Dr. Schaus has emphasized strategic program development, increased campus sustainability efforts, managed the academic division’s response to the COVID pandemic, and led an update to the campus strategic plan.

Dr. Schaus’s research on aquatic ecology and the role of fish in lake nutrient cycles in Florida and Ohio has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.  He also received funding from the St. Johns River Water Management District (FL) to support this work, as a part of the effort to restore Lake Apopka, Florida. He has mentored students on many undergraduate research projects, including studies on green roof runoff, salt marsh bird community composition, and nutrient uptake by stormwater management ponds. He has also collaborated on investigations of the ecology of neotropical harvestmen in Belize and Costa Rica, and has led several travel courses to these areas. Dr. Schaus was awarded the Virginia Wesleyan University Batten Scholar Award in 2008 in recognition of his scholarly efforts.

Susan Larkin, Virginia Wesleyan University

Susan Larkin received her B.A. in English Literature from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D in English Studies and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Illinois State University. Dr. Larkin’s research is interdisciplinary and interweaves children’s and adolescent literature, women’s and gender studies, and cultural studies. She has published on Judy Blume, Harry Potter, Mr. Rogers, Walt Disney, Laura Ingalls Wilder, women’s memoir, and empowerment, identity, and gender in adolescent literature. Dr. Larkin teaches a variety of English, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Wesleyan Seminars at VWU. 

Denise Wilkinson, Virginia Wesleyan University

Professor of Mathematics
Director of Innovative Teaching and Engaged


Benito, Á. Yenisey, K.D., Khanna, K., Masis, M.F., Monge, R.M., Tugtan, M.A., Araya, L.D.V., and Vig, R. (2021). Changes That Should Remain in Higher Education Post COVID-19: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of the Experiences at Three Universities. Higher Learning Research Communications 11: 51–75.

Cesco, S., V. Zara, A.F. De Toni, P. Lugli, G. Betta, A.C.O. Evans, and G. Orzes. (2021). Higher education in the first year of COVID-19: Thoughts and perspectives for the future. International Journal of Higher Education 10: 285-294.

Crawford, J., K. Butler-Henderson, J. Rudolph, B. Malkawi, M. Glowatz, R. Burton, P.A. Magni, and S. Lam. (2020). COVID-19: 20 countries’ higher education intra-period digital pedagogy responses. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching 3: 9-28.

Ewing, L.-A. (2021). Rethinking Higher Education Post COVID-19. In J. Lee and S.H. Han (eds.), The Future of Service Post-COVID-19 Pandemic, Volume 1, The ICT and Evolution of Work

Hodges, C., S. Moore, B. Lockee, T. Trust, and A. Bond. (2020, Mar 27). The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning. Educause Review

Jaschik, S. (2021, April 26). Provosts Face the Pandemic. Inside Higher Education

Kruger-Ross, M.J. & Holcomb, L.B. (2012). Educational Technology as a Subversive Activity: Questioning Assumptions Related to Teaching and Leading with Technology. Metropolitan Universities, 23(2), 129-141.

McKenzie, L. (2021, April 27). Students Want Online Learning Options Post-Pandemic. Inside Higher Education

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., and Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. Project Report. Centre for Learning Technology.

Moreira, D. (2016). From On-campus to Online: A Trajectory of Innovation, Internationalization and Inclusion. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 17:186-199.

Neuwirth, L.S., S. Jović, and B.R. Mukherji. (2020). Reimagining higher education during and post-COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education

Petronzi, R. and D. Petronzi. (2020). The Online and Campus (OaC) model as a sustainable blended approach to teaching and learning in higher education: A response to COVID-19. Journal of Pedagogical Research 4: 498-507

Tesar, M. (2020). Towards a Post-COVID-19 ‘New Normalcy?’: Physical and Social Distancing, the Move to Online and Higher Education. Policy Futures in Education 18:556-559.

Toquero, C.M. (2020). Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Philippine Context. Pedagogical Research, 5(4), em0063.

Vallée A, Blacher J, Cariou A, Sorbets E. (2020). Blended Learning Compared to Traditional Learning in Medical Education: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(8):e16504