Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Summer 6-20-2012

Document Type



Tuttle, H. (2012). The lived experiences of faculty who use instructional technology: A phenomenological study. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Marilyn L. Grady. Lincoln, Nebraska: June 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Heath V. Tuttle


This qualitative phenomenological study was designed to gain an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of university faculty who adopt technology for teaching and learning purposes and to determine if adoption affected the way a person taught, worked, and lived. A review of the literature found a gap in the understanding of the lived experiences of faculty who teach with technology, and this study was designed to help fill that gap.

Using a purposeful sampling method with a reputational technique, I targeted 20 faculty members who used technology to teach. The phenomenological method provided an understanding of their experiences as they used technology.

The central research question was: What was the experience of faculty who adopt technology in their teaching?

Participant interviews showed that most faculty started using technology because of one of two reasons: they were encouraged by their department or administration, or they thought technology use would improve the student learning experience. These faculty continue to use technology because they believe it does improve the educational experience, and it brings them efficiencies. All the participants indicated that they use more technology in their personal life because of their technology use in their teaching life. The study revealed a broad variety of technologies being used by faculty. While all used university-supported technologies, many also researched and found free technologies that they used to teach. Faculty looked to university support systems, and their own personal and professional networks for support and guidance in the use of technology.

These finding have broad implications for faculty, administrators, students, and development and support staff. Implications include paradigm shifts required of all parties in higher education. As faculty become more tech savvy and incorporate technology into their teaching, the way they work and live will change—technology will blur the line between work and home. Administrators should find fiscal and procedural processes that will accommodate and support this way of working. Students will become more engaged in their learning. Development and support staff should develop trusting relationships with faculty members, and not just be a “help desk.”

Advisor: Marilyn L. Grady