Learning Management Systems in Traditional Face-to-face Courses: A Narrative Inquiry Study

Learning Management Systems in Traditional Face-to-face Courses: A Narrative Inquiry Study

Author: 
Gloria Washington
Program of study: 
Ed.D./ET
Abstract: 
The purpose of the qualitative narrative inquiry study was to explore accounts of individual higher education instructors’ experiences utilizing LMSs as a potential platform for teaching and learning in the traditional face-to-face classroom environment. The pedagogical use of LMSs in traditional face-to-face courses from real life experiences of instructors through stories was the focus of the research. Stories and narratives can serve as a primary means of understanding individual instructor’s experiences, which affect how and what instructors need to know and be able to do to impact learning. The study was guided by one primary research question: What are the experiences of instructors (faculty and adjunct) concerning the use of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) in traditional face-to-face courses in higher education? Using semi-structured interviews, the first-person experiences of 20 instructors given through stories provided deeper understanding of the phenomena from the participant’s perspective. Five major themes emerged from the analysis of data collected from the participants and addressed the research question. The five major themes were Features and Tools, Instruction and Assessment, Communication and Interaction, Teaching Models and Methods, and Professional Development. The results from the study might help instructors realize the educational potential of the LMSs for teaching and learning to enhance traditional face-to-face courses. The recommendations made are reflections of the summary of the findings. The recommendations for educational practice were presented specifically for educational leaders and face-to-face instructors. Recommendations for educational practice focus on the practical application of Blackboard Learn LMS in face-to-face courses in higher education.
Dedication: 
First and foremost I give thanks to the almighty and powerful God for giving me the strength to complete this doctoral journey. It has been a long road with disappointments and obstacles along the way, but with God all things were possible. To my daughter, Makayla, I love you and thanks for your love, patience, and understanding. You were there every step of the way and I pray that my accomplishments will inspire you to embark on a similar educational journey. To my son and his wife, along with my grandsons, for cheering me across the finish line. To mother, my first role model, I am blessed to have a caring, loving, and strong women in my life. To my sister, Dr. Carla Thomas, your educational achievements lead the pathway for my journey. To my supervisor and colleagues, thank you all so much for making me set a high standard by which to measure myself. Special thanks to Janet for your wisdom and understanding beyond measure. Last but not least, Dr. Carolyn Hunter Rogers, thank you for believing in me more than I believed in myself. Without you, this dissertation would not exist. I thank God for placing you in my life at the right time.
Acknowledgements: 
To God be the Glory! Although my name appears on the front page of this dissertation, without God, this milestone in my life would still only be a dream. Many helped me along my doctoral journey to this successful end point. A special thank you to my first dissertation chair, Dr. Karen Bammel, who was with me at the beginning of this journey and through Quality Review Methods and Institutional Review Board approvals. I pray for prosperity and good health for you and your family. Dr. Arlene Scott, thank you for stepping into the pathway and filling the vacancy for dissertation chair. I am forever indebted to you and my committee members, Dr. Carla Lane-Johnson and Dr. Maria Shaheen, for the vast experiences and skills that proved invaluable for the completion of my doctoral degree. Thank you Dr. Carolyn Hunter Rogers, my mentor and dear friend, for your undying support and encouragement. A shout out to my fellow doctoral learners for being there throughout the rigorous dissertation process. To the instructors who participated in this research study, thank you for sharing your experiences. Family, friends, and colleagues, thank you all for helping me to reach my final destination. My love and gratitude is immeasurable.