Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

J. Nicholls Eastmond


J. Nicholls Eastmond


Martha Whitaker


Ronda Callister


Katy Campbell


Byron R. Burnham


Doug Holton


Women faculty members have been reported rating their level of knowledge and experience in using technologies lower than male faculty members. A closer examination revealed that women faculty members were likely to use technologies that fit into their pedagogy, met students' learning styles and needs, and facilitated their interactions with colleagues and students. So women faculty's choices of particular technologies can be assumed to reflect their particular instructional beliefs and perspectives, represented as a connected approach to learning and teaching. Gender alone is inadequate to explain women faculty's use of technology. The purpose of this study was to explore women faculty's understanding of teacher-student, student-student, and student learning-life connections and how technology affects these connections. A theoretical framework called positionality is used, which approaches women not solely from their biological or psychological attributes but also from the contexts in which they are situated. The results of the study suggested that women faculty members exhibited a positional understanding of the teacher-student, student-student, and student learning-life connections. A positional consciousness was reflected in their use of strategies to promote these connections. Technology played a positional role in women faculty's effort to create connections. Women faculty's views and practices of "connection" and "technology" are better understood by the contexts in which they are situated rather than by their gender. Women faculty often assume multiple identities expressed from different positions within different contexts, which is reflected by the variations in their relationships with students, their different perceptions of their student relationship with each other, their different ways of promoting connections, and their different views and use of technology. Limitations of the current study, recommendations for future research, and practical implications are discussed.