Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kelli Prejean

Second Advisor

Whitney Douglas

Third Advisor

David Hatfield


This study examines how instructors view and work with technology in a firstyear composition program at a four-year, public university in central Appalachia. Six interview questions were developed for this study as a means to explore the instructor’s definition of technology, level of use (functional, critical, and or rhetorical), difficulties using technology, pedagogy, and socioeconomics of the student population. Using qualitative methods to find patterns in the data, correlations were present among participant responses with functional uses, access, and socioeconomics. Educators primarily use technology functionally for the purpose of creating linear-based essays; have broad access to technology, but do not understand or have no way of receiving training to use software programs; and see how student socioeconomics affects access and digital literacy development. Resulting from the participant responses, there are recommendations to adjust the university’s professional development program, change current training practices, and offer faculty development and training within the department.