School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Gail L. Collins


Blackboard, Residential Faculty Members, Higher Education, Learning Management Systems, Qualitative




The purpose of this single instrumental case study was to understand the differential use of Blackboard tools for residential faculty members at a large private nonprofit university in the Southeastern part of the United States. The differential use of Blackboard tools was generally defined as the tendency of residential faculty members in universities to use certain Blackboard tools over others available to them. The theory that guided this study was the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) by Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, and Davis (2003) as it explained factors influencing faculty members’ use of Blackboard tools. The central research question for this study was: Why do residential faculty members select certain Blackboard tools to integrate into their courses more than others? Participants were residential faculty members, information technology administrators and designers, and faculty support coordinators drawn from a large private nonprofit university in the Southeastern part of the United States. Data was collected using interviews, focus groups, and document analysis. Data were analyzed both manually and using NVivo computer software to find codes and themes that explained the causes of the phenomenon. The key themes answering the central question of this study are time, Blackboard, requirements, social support, and fear. Sub-question one was answered by Blackboard and motivation themes. Social support, technical team and support, and requirements are addressed in the second sub-question. The third sub-question was answered by the following themes: Blackboard, requirements, and technical team and support. Theoretical, empirical, and practical implications and recommendations are offered.

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