Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

James Lampley, William Flora, Jasmine Renner


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore faculty members’ accounts of their experiences as first-time online instructors during the Spring 2020 academic semester as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting mandatory shift to online instruction. The rapid and widespread nature of the outbreak created an unprecedented phenomenon that significantly impacted instructors with no prior experience teaching courses in a fully online fashion. I interviewed 10 professors from various disciplines with at least three years of teaching experience in the traditional classroom. Each instructor was asked to express how the pandemic affected them personally as well as how the mandatory shift to online instruction affected their teaching style. They were also asked to describe the role that institutional support played in their experiences during the pandemic and to share their feelings regarding how COVID-19 has altered the future of higher education. The analysis of this data identified the following common themes: the instructor, the discipline, the students, survival and adaptation, innovation and evolution, on-camera presence and etiquette, synchronous versus asynchronous, administrative leadership, technical support, the new normal and the lasting effects, the balance between in-person and remote instruction, and the notion that higher education is moving forward to a new reality rather than backward to a pre-COVID-19 atmosphere. These results can benefit institutional leadership and faculty in the development of hybrid and online courses.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.