faculty workshop, composition pedagogy, information ecology, institutional critique


Blended learning, a combination of traditional face to face (F2f) instruction and computer-mediated communication (CMC), is a popular trend in many universities and corporate settings today. Most universities provide faculty members course management systems, such as Blackboard, Angel, and others as a way to organize and transmit course materials to students. In order to assess the pedagogical value of blended learning in a university-level first year composition (FYC) environment, it is necessary to view the environment through a critical lens and adequately train faculty in the need for and use of the features of the learning management software (LMS). The setting for this study is the Humanities and Communication Dept. of Florida Institute of Technology, a private university on Florida's east coast, consisting of around 6000 students. As I investigate the various pedagogical and theoretical issues of incorporating blended learning into the FYC environment, I critically examine the issues involved in implementing the program. I employ a blended research method to join the tracks of implementing a blended learning program and developing a culture of support together in the Humanities and Communication Department of Florida Tech. In examining program implementation, I use a combination of institutional critique, as advanced by Porter et al., together with an 'ecological' methodology, as outlined by Nardi and O'Day. In examining the feasibility of creating a culture of support through the design of a faculty workshop, I mainly use Richard Selfe's methodology, although elements of the previous two methods operate as well. The results of my study provide a means by which faculty members can experience and realize the benefits, while avoiding the pitfalls, of implementing CMC into a f2f classroom and provide an action plan for other researchers to utilize in their own educational settings.


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Graduation Date



Murphy, Patrick D.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Arts and Humanities



Degree Program

Texts and Technology








Release Date

May 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2010; it will then be open access.