Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Textile, Apparel Design and Merchandising

Document Type



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns many post-secondary educational institutions all-around the world, including the USA, were forced to transition their teaching methods from a traditional in-person to an online teaching format starting in the spring of 2020. This research however is focused on the transitioning of university-level studio-based Apparel Design (AD) courses to an online teaching format during the spring and fall 2020 semesters. Teaching AD courses that are studio-based and that particularly require hands-on skills like hand rendering, draping, sewing, or pattern drafting, are challenging to be taught online as they require in person step-by-step guidance of the correct procedures to be adopted. Such studio-based AD courses also depend on sewing machines and various tools being available for student use in the university studio-labs. Thus, the primary goal of this research was to analyze the challenges faced by AD instructors during the process of such a transition and the various resilient factors adopted by them to overcome those challenges.

To investigate, a survey was created to determine what types of challenges were encountered by AD instructors during this period. Additionally, instructors were asked to compare the spring 2020 semester with the fall 2020 semester on many items. A total of 16 surveys were collected from AD instructors across the country. Next, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five instructors to learn more about their experiences transitioning traditional studio-based AD courses online during the pandemic. The results indicated that the instructors initially found it challenging to suddenly transition their studio-based AD courses to online during the Spring 2020 semester when the COVID-19 pandemic had just began spreading in the USA and around the world. However, by incorporating various resilient factors, with efficient use of technology, improved video recording skills, empathy, and hard work, they managed to raise the quality of teaching in the following Fall 2020 semester.



Committee Chair

Stannard, Casey