School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)
higher education, online learning, digital learning materials, online instructors
Schreiber, Monica C., "The Experiences of Higher Education Online Instructors with the Implementation of Digital Learning Materials: A Phenomenological Study" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3310.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of online instructors at Christian colleges with the implementation of digital learning materials within online learning environments. At this stage of the research, digital learning materials can be generally defined as e-texts, learning materials accessible through tablet technology, interactive textbooks, or any other course materials in digital format. The theory guiding this study is the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), which explains the factors involved in accepting or rejecting technology use and applies to higher education online instructors’ implementation of digital learning materials. The central research question guiding this phenomenological study was: What are the experiences of online instructors at Christian colleges with the implementation of digital learning materials? This transcendental phenomenological study used purposeful and criterion sampling which aims for maximum variation and saturation in order to select online instructors from three Christian colleges with experiences regarding the implementation of digital learning materials. Data was collected through interviews, focus groups, and journal entries, and analyzed through the processes of epoché, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis. The four primary themes identified through analysis were: (a) ease of use, (b) learning enrichment, (c) professional community, and (d) initiative to expand knowledge and resources; these themes were used to describe the essence of the phenomenon of the implementation of digital learning materials by online instructors in higher education. Implications for this study were also discussed.