Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Report on Digital Literacy in Academic Meetings During the 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown

Version 1 : Received: 2 August 2020 / Approved: 3 August 2020 / Online: 3 August 2020 (08:38:41 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nash, C. Report on Digital Literacy in Academic Meetings during the 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown. Challenges 2020, 11, 20. Nash, C. Report on Digital Literacy in Academic Meetings during the 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown. Challenges 2020, 11, 20.


Late January 2020, COVID-19 unexpectedly imposed world-wide limitations on daily life. Deemed a pandemic mid-March 2020, lockdowns were imposed for an indefinite period, including at academic institutions. Consequently, interest in digital literacy—an on-going and increasing concern of academic institutions in the 21st century—exponentially heightened. Continuing meetings of academic groups now necessitated online communication. In the almost overnight closure of all non-essential services, academic units at one post-secondary institution expeditiously selected Zoom—a popular video conferencing application—as the preferred platform for meetings until social distancing was lifted. In contrast to this widely accepted use of Zoom for scheduled meetings, one unique health-related group at the institution, tailored to the 4Cs of 21st century learning of critical thought, communication, cooperation and creativity, found social networking through a private Facebook group a more appropriate and satisfying group experience than likely possible with the Zoom app. Pros and cons of both online platforms are presented along with when each choice is warranted. In promoting digital literacy as the primary goal in online communication for academic meetings, private Facebook groups hold promise for collaborative online academic meetings with similar features to this health-related group.


COVID-19; lockdown; digital literacy; academic meetings; private Facebook groups; Zoom; 4Cs; health-related group; landscape of truth; narrative research


Social Sciences, Psychology

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