Date of Conferral







Cheryl Tyler-Balkcom


Social media has become an integral part of the education process, with educators incorporating social media platforms both actively and passively within the learning environment. Yet, the implementation and usefulness of social media in the online learning environment as an educational assistance tool have not been adequately investigated. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand how the incorporation of social media into the online learning environment is experienced by university faculty and if their experiences of use or required changes in pedagogy for implementation are affecting their ability or desire to implement the new technology. Individual virtual interviews were conducted with 10 full-time faculty members from colleges and universities within the United States. The constructs of the technology acceptance model (namely, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and general attitudes towards implementation) informed the creation of the interview questions. Thematic analysis yielded three common themes from participant responses: social media use, best practices, and pedagogical updates. Study findings have the potential to lead to positive social change for educators at the organizational level. Understanding how faculty are currently experiencing social media implementation in the online learning environment, including their hesitations for use or previous difficulties with implementation, can contribute knowledge that educators can use to help schools and teachers better incorporate social media in instruction.