UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Symphonie praxis : a suite exploring faculty experiences and policy frames surrounding digital technologies in British Columbia's post-secondary education system Gratham, Christopher Hamilton


This study explores faculty members’ lived experiences with digital technologies in their teaching practice at British Columbia University (BCU), and it investigates these individual experiences within overlapping and interrelated contexts at the global, provincial, and institutional scales. The study was inspired by the researcher’s practice in educational technology leadership at BCU and those experiences, along with the researcher’s perspective as geographer, are seen throughout the study. The research is informed by critical theory of technology to situate the different perspectives used to frame technologies. It draws upon research on globalization to analyze provincial and institutional policy documents. It also draws upon Bourdieu’s ideas on capital to understand power and influence shifts: particularly within the institution and how participants’ capital shifts over time. The study illustrates the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that faculty members see their relationship with digital technologies in their practice, and it highlights how government priorities can become institutional policy and ultimately manifest in faculty members experiences. The study shows how the role of the instructor and the field of higher education are changing, and it situates increasingly ubiquitous digital technologies in the change. It illustrates how participants attribute tensions in their practice to different logics between themselves and BCU administrators. And it shows how participants take on the responsibility themselves of increasing their use of digital technologies, even when they don’t believe more technology use will help their practice. This research contributes to the ongoing discussions regarding higher education policy and the roles for digital technologies within that field.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada