Technological Literacy Across Disciplines: Examining Graduate Instructors' Experiences

Sidouane Patcha Lum, University of Texas at El Paso


This dissertation critically examines graduate instructors’ technological literacy across disciplines in a four-year university, in order to explore avenues through which their challenges teaching with classroom technologies can be met. It also investigates the possibility that non- resident instructors and resident instructors’ difference in cultural orientations (patterns, norms and ways of doing) influence instructors’ ability to use technology for their specific functions. For this purpose, Multi (modal) literacy theories and the TPACK framework (technological, pedagogical and content, knowledge) are used as theoretical underpinnings which foster a better understanding of instructors’ technological literacy, while grounded theory developed by Glaser and Strauss (1967) and modified by Charmaz (2006, 2014) is used as a methodology and method for data analysis through processes of coding, categorizing, memo-writing and saturation.Data collected through surveys and follow-up interviews reveal that instructors find it challenging to integrate technology into their functions for reasons such as little or no knowledge of instructional technologies required by the institution prior to their enrollment, unfamiliarity with a technology-supported pedagogy, lack of skills, training, institutional support and ineffective campus workshops. Also, contrary to scholarly findings in the literature on non-resident graduate student teaching and use of technology, results of this study showed that all instructors (both resident and non-resident) have similar challenges integrating technology into their instructional functions. This research emphasizes the need for instructors to think “multimodally and semiotically” in ways that allow for proper planning and preparation of how to integrate technology into content and pedagogy, rather than treating it as an “add-on” pedagogical tool. It also stresses the importance for institutions to test, assess and support graduate student’s technological literacy in the best possible ways. Lastly, using a positive deviance approach (Singhal et al., 2009) to find best practices of instructors who excel in their use of technology without access to any special resources, this research foregrounds local solutions to technology integration that can be amplified to improve all instructors’ technological literacy.

Subject Area

Technical Communication|Rhetoric|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Lum, Sidouane Patcha, "Technological Literacy Across Disciplines: Examining Graduate Instructors' Experiences" (2018). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13421883.