Special issue: Business Teaching Practice: Pivot in COVID-19 Times

Call for papers for: Accounting Research Journal

Submission deadline: 14/08/2020.

Planned publication = Late 2020

The worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted our University sector on multiple levels. Operationally speaking, we see many headlines about teaching operations “pivoting” mid-term to accommodate teaching practices in a non-face to face environment. Dr Sarah Lambert at Deakin University’s Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning recently notes: “It’s been a wild few months. University staff and students have been adjusting to doing everything online, and doing it at home. COVID-19 has been pushing us all to think about how we can use different technologies to reach out, get to know, and engage bigger and more diverse cohorts of students, including those who didn’t choose or plan for learning online. Experienced open and online learning organisations and educators are forming support networks and sharing their tips … to help us make an inclusive and effective ‘online pivot” (Lambert, 2020).


Online teaching, blended learning, flexible delivery, we have all been there at various times before, but not so universally and quickly as we have adapted since February-March 2020. At its simplest level, “pivot” means to turn or rotate, and the Cambridge English dictionary recognises it as a verb regarding changing a person’s opinion. Whether we take a simple or more abstract definition, the verb has been used to describe our change in teaching practices, attitudes and skillset, referred to by Dr Victoria Clout as the “digital mindset” (Clout, 2020).


This special issue facilitates and celebrates Business academics sharing networks. It provides a forum to reflect on and debate the role we have played in moving our teaching practice in new directions at short notice. Short, well-written accounts of, reflections on or commentary about teaching practice during the COVID-19 period are welcome. In adapting many of our teaching practices, it is unlikely that we all had the time to consult prior academic literature on student engagement and learning behaviours. We may have operated implicitly based on our prior theoretical knowledge or we may have acted more from intuition and tacit knowledge in resourcing teaching and facilitating our students’ experience.


While the submissions will be short and focus on one practice, experience or issue in a short timeframe, it is expected that such submissions will contribute longer-term to research in business education as to effective teaching practices. Whilst submissions are expected to conform to the usual conventions of scholarly publishing and data integrity expectations (appropriate citations, formal language, ethical approval for data collection if any), it is not expected that the submissions will contribute to theory nor derive causative findings from detailed empirical evidence. It is acceptable for example, to use first person narration, but language should strive for a neutral tone. A literature review, data tables, and statistical analysis, while welcome are not essential. The submissions are likely to be descriptive, reflective and informative of teaching practice. Data derived from student performance is not expected. Technical descriptions of how one online tool/proprietary operates is not encouraged, nor are mere product reviews. Examples, anecdotes, aggregated de-identified data, timelines are all welcome. Submitting authors are encouraged to focus on their experience and practices, not on student outcomes. Submissions should aim to be institution neutral.


Suggested avenues of reflection may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Some of our new experiences may persist longer term; and some new practices may need to be jettisoned from our repertoire.
  • Similarly, some prior practices worked well in the pivot and others did not.
  • Successful strategies for a postgraduate cohort may not have garnered the same success in an undergraduate offering?
  • What does “success” look like in the 2020 environment?
  • What does “student engagement” look like to the 2020 environment?
  • Gathering evidence on teaching practice for performance appraisals and promotion applications in 2020 and beyond.
  • Examples of “communities of practice” that developed during 2020.
  • Experiences in “pivoting: assessment – in class presentations; teamwork; examinations.
  • Any unexpected consequences from a student experience perspective?


Papers should be formatted in accordance with the Journal’s style guide, maximum of 5,000 words and submitted online.

Special Issue Editors.

Prof Ellie Chapple, QUT Business School.

Dr Victoria Clout, UNSW Business School.

Dr Binh Bui, Macquarie Business School.



Clout, V. (2020) A Digital Mindset: Let’s not close the digital box on what we have learned: https://drvclout.blogspot.com/2020/06/a-digital-mindset.html.

Lambert, S. (2020) Beyond the COVID-19 online pivot: Why we need cheaper and more inclusive online resources: https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/covid-19-online-inclusive-online-resources/