Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Doctoral Studies

First Advisor

Karla Mansour

Second Advisor

Graham Stead

Third Advisor

Megan Hatch

Subject Headings



Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, entire student bodies in the United States were compelled to take all their classes online. Given the challenges of online instruction, combined with the time and support it takes for faculty to become proficient in teaching online, it was likely that the online learning experiences instructors provided to their students were not fully featured and that new teaching approaches were not optimally implemented. Using the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison et al., 2000) as the theoretical framework, this explanatory sequential mixed methods study aimed to investigate university faculty and student perceptions of the effectiveness of online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore the new teaching mode faculty and students believed would best serve students in the post-COVID era. Participants comprised instructors and students from various types of higher education institutions in Ohio. The study consists of a quantitative phase and a qualitative phase. Quantitative data were collected from 148 instructor and 394 student respondents through online surveys, after which qualitative data were collected through one-on-one semi-structured Zoom interviews with eight instructor and eight student participants who had completed the surveys in the quantitative phase. The quantitative results suggested both faculty and student participants rated online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic as effective in general, with age being the strongest predictor of their perceptions and faculty’s overall teaching experience a significant predictor of faculty perceptions. However, the qualitative findings revealed most participants perceived online learning as less effective compared to face-to-face classroom teaching. The primary reason was the lack of social communication and interaction, which was consistent with the core ideas of the CoI framework (Garrison et al., 2000). The qualitative data also indicated both faculty and student participants believed blended/hybrid and concurrent teaching would be the best teaching modes to serve students in the post-COVID era. Six additional themes emerged from the qualitative data, presenting a full and in-depth understanding of faculty and students’ online learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study provided recommendations for future higher education, particularly in the context of global emergencies.

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