Design and Development of Virtual Teaching Practicum Models: Embracing Change During COVID 19
Keywords:Teaching Practicums, Virtual Teaching, virtual teaching practicums, The Bahamas
The unprecedented introduction of COVID-19 in Spring 2020 has created an academic earthquake in higher education. There was an instant halt to academic programs, student support, the learning environment, instructional methods, and delivery at all levels. Teacher educational programs were no exception. These programs consist of both coursework and a culminating practicum. There was an instant need to conceptualize a model that would assist with transitioning pre-service teachers from a traditional teaching practicum to a virtual teaching practicum. This model would ensure the demand from the Ministry of Education for qualified teachers was met despite the global pandemic. Hence, a team of researchers at the University of The Bahamas designed and developed two virtual teaching practicum models that were the foundational platform for transitioning pre-service teachers from traditional to virtual teaching practicums. Implications for theory and practice are also discussed.