Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Curtis Porter, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence digital technology had on the professional development of Teaching Associates participating in a mentoring program in an English Department at a public four-year university. A qualitative study was conducted involving ten students in the department’s two doctoral programs over the course of an academic year. Data analysis was conducted on the participant interview responses and textual data from their mentoring program application materials. Results indicated that while doctoral students with prior teaching experience viewed digital technology as an instructional tool rather than content itself, those with no prior teaching experience were more willing to reflect on the pedagogical ramifications of digital technology and its influence on content delivery. Doctoral program participation influenced contrasting adoption levels of digital technology in both pedagogy and research. Those in the Literary Criticism program adopted more digital technology in their pedagogy than in their research, with the inverse among those in the Language & Writing program. Lastly, the importance of digital technology in doctoral students’ respective disciplines was examined in terms of job posts, organizational memberships, conference participation, and journal subscriptions. Responses indicated the participants limited their organizational participation due to financial and temporal factors.

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