School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


David Vacchi


Rapid transition, Online teaching, Faculty, Crisis response teaching, Crisis management


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study is to describe the experience of higher education faculty during the crisis-response transition to online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By gaining a perspective of the experiences of faculty during this crisis experienced during the 2020-2021 academic year, valuable insight can be gained for higher education institutions on how to better prepare for future crises. Phenomenology allows the participant’s perspectives to be treated as complete truth and analyzed from multiple vantage points through horizontalization. This study uses Transition Theory to draw conclusions about the adaptability of faculty without prior experience teaching online that were rapidly forced to transition during the COVID-19 crisis. Given the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the study uses a snowball sampling method and maintained a broad setting of the United States. The data collection plan process showed that faculty prefer in-person teaching to online due to control of class dynamics and a lack of online pedagogy. The study also found that there is a growing double standard with faculty expressing the need for online teaching training but not a willingness to participate.