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ERIC Number: ED547293
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 184
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-3290-2
Professing on the Screen: The Subjective Dimensions of Professors' Experiences Learning to Teach Digitally-Mediated Courses
Glass, Chris R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This research study utilizes grounded theory to explore how professors at a single research university learn to teach digitally-mediated courses. The study focuses on what learning means to them subjectively, within their professional lives. I explored the specific activities, qualities of social interactions, and intersecting contexts that support professors as they learn to teach digitally-mediated courses. I utilize a definition of learning informed by sociocultural theory and advanced within the communities of practice literature, defining it as "the interplay of experience and competence" (Wenger, 1999, p. 50) This study draws needed attention to the subjective dimensions of the technological transformations of our time, particularly how they are reshaping academic work and the human relationships vital to learning. The study demonstrates how new technologies not only change the practices of academic teaching; the changing practices affect professors' experience of teaching itself. The proposed framework outlines three dimensions of experience the professors in the study inevitably confronted when teaching digitally-mediated courses: The "engagement in work" explores the physical interactions of digitally-mediated teaching. Professors engage physical objects and settings in creating a teaching experience; this dimension provides insight into how the aesthetic qualities of the immediate environment affect professors' digitally-mediated teaching experiences. The engagement of one's self dimension explores the personal meanings of digitally-mediated teaching. Professors express distinct dispositions, goals, and histories in creating a teaching experience; this dimension provides insight into how individual differences affect professors' digitally-mediated teaching experiences. The "engagement with others" dimension explores the social bonds of digitally-mediated teaching. Professors encounter alive, biographical, creative human beings in creating a teaching experience; this dimension provides insight into how a sense of relatedness to others affects professors' digitally-mediated teaching experiences. Professors' experiences are multiple, interrelated, and unfold over time. The framework proposed by this study allows an exploration of how digitally mediated teaching affects professors' academic identities as constructed through evolving life stories. Consequently, it emphasizes how a professor's evolving history of interactions along the three dimensions shapes the personal meanings each brings to her or his own practice. It emphasizes the development of functional relationships, not the integration of different types of knowledge, as a central feature of professional growth. It views engaging the tensions digitally-mediated teaching presents as the primary means of supporting professors' professional growth. I conclude by reflecting on the manifest and latent functions of academic courses. I argue that, although the manifest functions of digitally-mediated academic teaching give courses their recognizable forms, their latent functions give courses their meaning. To explore the latent functions of academic courses, I examine dynamic processes inherent in professors' and students' relationships with themselves, their relationships with each other, and their engagement in meaningful work. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A