School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


David Holder


Military Training, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Social Transmission Theory, Transformational Learning Theory, Student Collaboration, Student Devices


Education | Educational Methods


This transcendental phenomenological study examined the teaching experiences of military instructors who leverage student BYODs in their teaching practices within an enlisted training institution located in the southeastern United States. Employing Dewey’s social transmission theory and Mezirow’s transformational learning theory, this study answered the central research question: How do military instructors describe their teaching experiences when incorporating student-owned devices into teaching/learning activities? Guiding questions sought to address instructor modifications to their teaching practices in pursuit of productive student collaboration and discourse in response to students’ use of their personal devices in the classroom. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 12 participants who experienced the phenomenon while serving as an instructor in an institution which permits the use of student BYODs in the classroom. Data were collected through a qualitative survey, interviews, and focus groups, and analyzed using phenomenological reduction processes to develop themes and insights into participant responses. Four themes emerged to answer the research questions: adopting a BYOD culture, student primacy, BYOD instructor attributes, and learner ownership. The findings corroborated and extended prior research with a better understanding of how students’ BYOD-use impacts military occupational training instructors. This study may also inform a practical application by understanding how instructors describe their experiences, and how they are hired, developed, placed, and sustained in DoD institutions which enable student BYOD-use. Future research should consider a broader group of participants and the inclusion of quantitative methods.