Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Educational Technology


Educational Technology

Major Advisor

Ross Perkins, Ph.D.


Patrick R. Lowenthal, Ph.D.


Lida J. Uribe-Flórez, Ph.D.


This research examined the perceptions of university faculty on the integration of smartphones in faculty development programs. The literature on higher education smartphone integrations has focused almost exclusively on individual courses or mobile learning implementations limited to pre-service teacher education departments. Current practice indicates that faculty are electing to use smartphones for their own professional learning. This study advances our understanding of faculty perceptions, outside of education departments, to provide insight for faculty developers designing programs that incorporate smartphones by addressing the following research questions: (1) What are faculty perceptions of smartphones? (2) How are faculty using smartphone technologies for professional learning as a part of faculty development sessions? (3) What are faculty perceptions of the use of smartphones during faculty development sessions? (4) How are faculty integrating smartphone technologies in their teaching? The fourth research question was added during data collection.

Using a sample of full-time and part-time undergraduate college professors, this case study collected data from two sources. Survey and participant interviews were used to identify themes and determine how perceptions and faculty development experiences translated into smartphone technology classroom integrations by the participants. This study relied on Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory (2003) to reflect upon the acceptance of classroom smartphone technology and Koole’s FRAME model (2009) for specific smartphone integration considerations.

The findings from this research were clear regarding the faculty level of comfort and self-efficacy with their smartphone devices. The majority of respondents used a mobile phone at least on an hourly basis, and an average of 92% of respondents indicated a high level of self-efficacy with smartphones. Faculty were confident and willing to take risks with their own smartphone. The results also indicated that smartphones were a helpful and convenient tool that faculty have become dependent on in their everyday lives; however, for content production or composition, laptops were preferred. In addition, faculty were using smartphones for professional learning in a variety of informal (e.g., accessing online documents) and formal (e.g., connecting to conference apps) ways. If the purpose of a faculty development session was well served by integrating smartphones, faculty were open to the idea. The case study results also indicated that faculty have noticed that nearly all of their students brought a smartphone to class; as such, faculty were integrating smartphones in the classroom when it was appropriate for the lesson and situation, even when there was a no cell phone policy included in the syllabus. Based on the research data, it is recommended that faculty developers need to make clear their intentions for using a smartphone-based tool during each faculty development program and provide guidance for those instructors who wish to mimic the same tool in the classroom.