School of Communication and the Arts
Master of Arts in Communication (MA)
COVID-19, Higher Education, eLearning, Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Expectancy Violation Theory
Sanders, Abigail L., "COVID-19's Impact on Higher Education Communication" (2021). Masters Theses. 720.
The following study was intended to contribute qualitative research on the impact that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) global outbreak has had on higher education communication. A qualitative study was conducted using questionnaires given to professors and students at a private university in the United States. Through this study, three primary research questions were answered. First, among university students, what was the academic impact of COVID-19? Specifically, how did the transition into virtual learning affect student academics during the spring 2020 academic semester? Second, did university students experience professors with poor digital literacy, and did this illiteracy impact professor-student rapport? Third, how was the flow of communication between professors and students adapted because of virtual learning enacted in response to COVID-19? Was this adaptation successful according to professors, students, or both? Two communication theories were applied to the results of the qualitative study results: Cognitive Dissonance Theory and Expectancy Violation Theory.