Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dan Cernusca


Although instructors at a Western Caribbean university use technology in the instructional process, they rarely use social media tools for teaching and learning. This exploratory qualitative case study addressed faculty members' perceived role of social media technology tools in higher education instruction at the local university. The conceptual frameworks that guided this study were the theory of planned behavior and the technology acceptance model. Ten faculty members at the local university were selected through a purposeful sampling process and were interviewed. Interview transcripts were organized using an iterative coding process and were analyzed for recurring themes. Trustworthiness was established through peer review, member checking, peer debriefing, and triangulation. The themes that emerged from the interviews revealed factors that encouraged the use of social media tools such as freedom in learning, growth in inferential skills, ease of communication, or access to a repository of online lessons. In addition, factors that discouraged the use of social media were also discovered, such as unreliability of the tools, hindrance to cognitive growth, or the increased number of cyber bullies. The resulting project consisted of a white paper that will disseminate the findings from this study to stakeholders with the goal of initiating a collaborative process focused on the use of social media tools in instruction. Recommendations from this project study may help to implement and integrate social media tools in instruction. The project contributes to social change through faculty members' stronger understanding of both those factors that encourage the use of social media tools and the barriers that prevent their effective use in instruction.