Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Steven D. Krause, Ph.D.


Our physical and virtual environments have traditionally been regarded as separate, yet with the proliferation of mobile devices, these environments have merged. Students have already begun integrating mobile devices into virtually every aspect of their lives, thereby changing the ecological system in which they communicate. This study asserts that we should consider how writers and their compositions are influenced by the devices (including smartphones and tablets) they use as they write within and for varied environments. Examining multimodal texts composed on mobile devices from an ecological perspective can help provide a more comprehensive and effective composition pedagogy. Within this dissertation, I developed an ecologically-focused, new media pedagogical framework, called ecotech pedagogical theory. The major components of the theory are: ecology, collaborative community, multimodality and multiliteracy. This study argues that by developing and implementing an ecotech pedagogy in a composition class, professors can create collaborative and multimodal learning environments capable of engaging and energizing students with varied literacies in new and exciting ways. Chapter One introduces the study and the argument for theorizing in composition. Chapter Two presents a review of literature within ecocomposition and new media studies. Chapter Three describes the principles of an ecotech pedagogical theory. Chapter Four describes the study methodology. It provides details about data collection, which was conducted through database searches of published academic research. It describes the inclusion and exclusion criteria, as well as the reading and categorizing process used to analyze the data. Chapter Five synthesizes and analyzes the data collected and distills this data into 11 best practices for an ecotoech pedagogical theory. These best practices are described in detail using the research data and focus on: ubiquity, customization, mobility, training, guidance, integration, accountability, usefulness, variety, suitableness, and flexibility. Chapter Six describes the implications of these best practices for the development and implementation of an ecotech pedagogy.