Date of Conferral







Donna Russell


The increase in population of nontraditional adult learners paired with a demand for multisensory learning created a need for further research in best pedagogy in higher education. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the central question on how the integration of music, lyrics, or music videos into higher education classrooms affected the motivation and engagement levels of nontraditional adult learners. The conceptual framework was based upon self-determination theory, andragogy, multiple intelligences, and visual literacy. A multiple case design was used to collect data from 8 nontraditional higher education students. Data were collected via telephone interviews and responses to the Activity Perceptions Questionnaire. Data analysis used Yin's cross-case analysis procedures, including familiarization, development of word tables, and examination of cross-case patterns. Results revealed that the use of music in the classroom positively impacts learner engagement and promotes intrinsic motivation. This study is expected to contribute to social change by exploring music as an innovative instructional tool and providing a deeper understanding of how music engages and motivates the increasing number of nontraditional students in higher education.