School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Justin Necessary


higher education, emergency online learning transition, online learning, COVID-19, emergency transition, aviation higher education, pandemic higher education


Aviation | Higher Education


The purpose of this case study is to discover the perceived challenges and identify future recommendations for emergency online learning transition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic at a major aeronautical higher education institution in the southeast region of the United States. For this study, emergency online learning transition is defined as the period in which higher education faculty members were required to pivot to an online methodology in response to a global pandemic in the spring and fall academic semesters of 2020. The theories guiding this study are the theory of planned behavior (TPB) by Icek Ajzen and the theory of equivalency by Michael Simonson as it describes how individuals are influenced to modify their behavior and how to make online learning activities equivalent to traditional face-to-face. To enhance the description and understanding of the phenomena at hand, this study used three different data collection methods: individual interviews, focus groups, and document analysis. Using a maximum variation and purposeful sampling technique, the study collected data from 12 aviation higher education faculty participants from the Aviation Department of a major aeronautical university in the southeast region of the United States. Using three data analysis strategies, triangulation, coding, and thematic analysis, three themes emerged from the data. Those are faculty challenges, recommendations, and essential elements.