School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Kristy Ann Motte


Technical Education, Online Education, COVID, Diffusion of Innovation, Teachers, Professional Development, Mentors


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this case study was to explore technical education teachers’ perceptions on the use of e-learning within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) institutions. This central research question provides the lens needed to explore forces that promote or discourage the use of online instruction administered by teachers. The theory guiding this study was the diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory, developed by E.M. Rogers approximately 60 years ago. The DOI theory provides the theoretical framework needed to assess the adopter, the innovation, and the type of communication (evaluation) needed to facilitate sustained adoption in the future. Increased adoption of e-learning instruction is a key assumption of DOI research. Two technical colleges provided the setting for data collection. The methodological approach utilized qualitative data collection methods (face-to-face interviews, document analysis, and a focus group session) to establish the context and mechanisms associated with barriers and benefits of online instruction within technical education. Data analysis continued throughout the study, until a point of saturation was reached. Semi-structured interviews combined with a focus group related to technical education online education experiences will produced codes. Data analysis consisted of a process called cyclical coding, further identifying recurring codes and ultimately themes within the data. Findings in this research highlight the degree of innovation adoption among instructors as well as identify factors that contribute to or discourage adoption of online instruction within the selected cases.