Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lynne Alvine, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel Weinstein, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Pamela Takayoshi, Ph.D.


As new media technologies emerge and evolve rapidly, the need to make informed decisions about using these technologies in teaching writing increases. This dissertation research study aimed at achieving multiple purposes. The first purpose was to catalog the new media technologies writing teachers use in teaching first-year composition classes. The second purpose was to explore the pedagogical uses of these technologies. The study also aimed at examining teachers' approaches to using new media technologies. This mixed-method study utilized an online survey to collect numerical and verbal data from a total of 164 participants in order to address the three research questions posited. In addition to answering the research questions, findings of the study revealed a number of important phenomena. Three categories of new media technologies were reported by participating teachers: text-rich, media-rich, and management technologies. The use of new media technologies in multimodal composing is spreading steadily among writing teachers despite the supremacy of print literacy in Composition. Furthermore, findings showed that teachers used new media technologies for text production, skill building, and community building. Participating teachers' approaches to using new media technologies were classified into instrumental, substantive, critical, and a hybrid of two or more approaches. Implications for using new media technologies and multimodal composing in teaching writing are discussed in the light of findings of the study and position statements about digital literacy issued by flagship organizations in the field of Composition. Recommendations are also made regarding teachers' professional development on the use of new media technologies. Using the experiences accumulated during this study, I presented several methodological considerations and directions for future research.