Faculty adoption of online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic: A lens of diffusion of innovation theory


  • Ünal Çakıroğlu
  • Esin Saylan
  • İsak Çevik
  • Mehmet Zülküf Mollamehmetoğlu
  • Emine Timuçin




diffusion of innovation, technology adoption, online learning, pandemic


During the Covid-19 pandemic, higher education shifted from face-to-face to online education and teachers had various perspectives about remedying the challenges of this mandatory situation. Drawing on the diffusion of innovation theory as a theoretical lens to better understand the change in the adoptions of the faculty during the pandemic, we surveyed 307 academics with an online questionnaire. The results indicated that the adopters in this study were innovators (11%), early adopters (23%), early majority (18%), late majority (22%), and laggards (26%), revealing somewhat different percentages from the values in the theoretical model. This can be explained by the fact that innovations that require an emergency situation bring about changes in the values of the adopter categories. Examining the questionnaire data, we categorised the results as support, functionality, guidance, interaction, adaptation and the features of synchronous lessons influencing the diffusion of innovation during the new emergency teaching condition. The adoption process was discussed through the factors influencing these dimensions. The implications of notable findings and directions for future studies have been provided.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • Academics may have better online learning experiences in various designs and applications at universities.
  • Academics may be prepared for unexpected teaching situations with adequate and appropriate organisational, technical and learning support to achieve quality outputs.
  • All educational institutions, academics, and universities in particular, can be guided to adopt technologies more easily and quickly in such situations as future pandemics, wars, etc.


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How to Cite

Çakıroğlu, Ünal, Saylan, E., Çevik, İsak, Mollamehmetoğlu, M. Z. ., & Timuçin, E. (2022). Faculty adoption of online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic: A lens of diffusion of innovation theory. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(3), 87–103. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.7307