Guest Editors

  • Donatella Persico, National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Educational Technology
  • Stefania Manca, National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Educational Technology
  • Juliana Elisa Raffaghelli, Open University of Catalonia

At the time when this call for papers was written (May 2020), the COVID-19 pandemic was forcing many educational institutions around the globe to cancel face-to-face classes and hastily replace them with online activities. In these circumstances, shifting courses online was not the culmination of a well-considered instructional design process inspired by the affordances of online education and rooted in a thorough needs analysis. Rather, it was an expediency, a reflex policy response mandated by the overriding need to keep teachers, staff, students and society as safe as possible in the face of a public health emergency whose spread was unexpected, exceptionally fast and poorly understood. The pressing haste with which many educational institutions moved to online education meant that they were not ready to harness the strengths of online learning nor deal with its limitations. It was simply a quick fix adopted in “less-than-ideal circumstances” (Hodges et al, 2020).

Public debate about the way schools and universities dealt with the emergency has proliferated in the media and on social networks (e.g., Thelwall & Levitt, 2020). “The temptation to compare online learning to face-to-face instruction in these circumstances” (Hodges et al, 2020) has brought about negative considerations along the lines that online learning is no substitute for the “real thing.” At the same time, it has also generated (perhaps over-) optimistic expectations that after this “great online learning experiment” (Zimmermann, 2020) our educational institutions and their teaching staff will be readier than ever to move to online or blended learning once and for all. Moreover, emergencies such as the COVID-19 crisis also tend to exacerbate a number of pre-existing digital divides and inequalities (Beaunoyer, Dupéeré, & Guitton, 2020).

As a scientific journal, IJET does not automatically subscribe to any of the author views mentioned above; what we look for is evidence and soundly reasoned arguments based on that evidence. Besides, this call encourages contributions sticking with the principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI, Owen, Macnaghten, & Stilgoe, 2012) and ethical and situated approaches. Now more than ever, the situation requires rapid generation of evidence-based indications to support policies, decision-making, and practices. However, in emergency times, research should be, and be seen to be, a response to ongoing dialogue with society.

We therefore invite authors to submit contributions that can deepen our knowledge about issues of a methodological, technological, organisational or policy nature (as well as combinations thereof) that are related to what has been termed “Emergency Remote Education (ERE)” (Williamson, Eynon, & Potter, 2020) or “Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT)” (Hodges et al, 2020). These contributions may investigate the effects on society, educational systems and institutions, and put forward proposals on how we can better address similar challenges in future. Some experts claim that emergency education models may be treated as “prototypes for education systems to emulate far beyond the pandemic” (Williamson, Eynon, & Potter, 2020; 109). Seen in this light, we consider the term “emergency” in the broad sense, not merely restricted to the COVID-19 pandemic, and look forward to receiving submissions that present findings which either support that position or call it into question.

Topics of Interest

The Italian Journal of Educational Technology invites researchers and experts in the field to submit contributions related to one or more of the following themes:

  • Methodological approaches for Emergency Remote Education (ERE)
    • Assessment approaches for ERE
    • Inclusion and exclusion issues related to ERE
    • Learning and teaching dynamics before, during and after ERE
    • Self-Regulated Learning in ERE
    • Formal and informal learning in ERE
    • Emotional and psychological aspects of ERE
    • Responsible Research and Innovation in times of ERE
  • Technological environments for ERE
    • Schools’ technological infrastructures for ERE
    • Higher Education preparedness for ERE
    • Portable devices and ERE
    • Role of social media in ERE
    • Learners’ and educators’ data use during and beyond ERE
  • Organization and policies of ERE
    • School organization and policies for ERE
    • Higher Education organization and policies for ERE
    • ERE logistics
    • ERE legacy 

Contributions of the following types are welcomed:

  • Theoretical articles (about 6,500 words)
  • Research articles (about 6,500 words)
  • Reviews of the literature (about 6,500 words)

Contributors should make their submissions by September 30th, 2020, through the journal website, after registering as an author. Upon submission, please mention this call for papers in the field “Comments for the editors”. Papers should be formatted according to the author guidelines. All contributions are subject to a double blind peer review process. Publication is expected in July 2021.

For further information about this special issue, please contact <>


Beaunoyer, E., Dupéeré, S., & Guitton, M. J. (2020). COVID-19 and digital inequalities: Reciprocal impacts and mitigation strategies. Computers in Human Behavior, 111, 106424.

Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. EDUCAUSE Review.

Owen, R., Macnaghten, P., & Stilgoe, J. (2012). Responsible research and innovation: From science in society to science for society, with society. Science and Public Policy, 39(6), 751–760., M., & Levitt, J. M. (2020). Retweeting Covid-19 disability issues: Risks, support and outrage. El profesional de la información, 29(2), e290216.

Williamson, B., Eynon, R., & Potter, J. (2020). Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency. Learning, Media and Technology, 45(2), 107-114.

Zimmerman, J. 2020. Coronavirus and the Great Online-Learning Experiment. The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 10.