Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William H. Young, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Shelley Stewart, Ph.D.


online instruction, teaching method, e-Learning, faculty role


The purpose of this study was to investigate faculty perceptions towards the transitioning process from face-to-face to online instruction. This study investigated the overall perceptions towards the transitioning process, the perceived changes in the teaching methods, technical and instructional design skills needed for the process, the change in preference towards face-to-face or online instruction after the transition, in addition to the challenges faculty members faced during the transition process. It also tested to determine if there were differences in responses based on gender, faculty position, years teaching in higher education institutions, and total number of courses taught whether fully online or blended.

The study was exploratory using a survey research design to answer the research questions. The respondents were faculty members who had taught online at University of South Florida (USF) main campus (Tampa) and St. Petersburg campus. They were surveyed using a web-based questionnaire specially designed for the study.

There was a total of 121 respondents to the survey. Descriptive statistics, frequency analysis, chi-square tests, t tests, and one-way ANOVAs were used to analyze the data, in addition to other statistics to verify various assumptions.

The study found that faculty members were motivated to begin teaching online because of job expectations and by flexibility offered in online environment, but they found the transitioning process to be difficult and impartial. Faculty believed that converting to online instruction depends on the course content, the students, and the instructors. On the other hand, active learning improved in online instruction, and more creative assessments were used to address individual needs for students. A major finding was related to the positive changes in perception towards online teaching as faculty members taught more blended and fully online courses. Faculty members also noted that more opportunities for additional technical and instructional design training are needed, and that it should be a requirement before teaching online. Faculty members indicated that transitioning to online instruction is time consuming and requires a lot of work and effort to develop quality online courses. They implied that university administrators in specific do not seem to be fully aware of the required amount of time and effort needed in such a transitioning process.