Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Lisa Bajor

Second Advisor

Evan Ortlieb

Third Advisor

Joseph Rumenapp


The purpose of this qualitative case study research was to explore the multifaceted motivations, perceptions and attitudes that influence digital literacy practices in a small group of study abroad faculty and how professional development can help inspire them to act to innovate their digital literacy practices within a study abroad context. The role of study abroad programs in the U.S. has grown significantly in recent decades. As the number of students participating in these programs continues to increase, so have questions about the role of digital literacy practices in foreign education. Digital literacy embodies a way of learning that focuses on solving real-world problems, awakening students to their democratic social responsibilities, and has transformative implications. Participants were drawn from faculty teaching in the Italian branch campus of a higher educational institution in the eastern United States. The data from interviews and observations were coded to generate themes to structure potential answers to the research questions. The findings of this research showed that faculty digital practices are influenced by four domains: the professional domain, the personal domain, the environmental domain, and the cultural domain. These domains are interrelated and can shape the way faculty approach digital practices. The forces driving digital transformation affect both the environmental domain and cultural domain which consequently impact the professional and personal domains, forming a dynamic model where professional development is key to support faculty in approaching technology changes and in helping them succeed in integrating digital practices in their teaching models and strategies.