This mixed methods study was conducted to examine University of Central Florida (UCF) graduate student use and perceptions of usefulness of Web resources and tools that may support academic work, research, and academic goals. The frameworks of Connectivism and Personal Learning Networks (PLN) were used as a foundation to support the importance of Web resources and tools in relation to student learning, academic support, and progression. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from active UCF graduate students using an electronic survey, with 998 participants completing the survey. Data analysis was conducted using an ANOVA one-way test to compare program mode types and the frequency of use with Web resources and tools. Participants that reported enrollment in face-to-face programs identified a higher frequency of use for Web resources and tools than participants in online programs. File-sharing tools and telecommunications applications were reported as used most frequently among the resources and tools identified on the survey, and these were also found as Web resources and tools perceived as the most useful. The examination of qualitative data showed that Zoom and Google Docs were reported most often by the participants as beneficial for use, which is consistent with the frequency of use and perceptions of usefulness data. The qualitative data also showed that participants are using the Web resources and tools the most to support course work, but they are also using these tools and resources for collaboration, research support, and cloud support. Further research would need to be conducted to help understand the factors that may contribute to the statistical difference from these groups. Overall, the reported data supports that the graduate student study participants were using several collaborative tools regularly and they were also identified as useful in support of academic course work, research, and academic goals. Further research could help to provide additional understanding related to the factors behind reported usage frequency and how Web resources and tools are identified for use.


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Graduation Date





Gunter, Glenda


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction




CFE0008332; DP0023769





Release Date

December 2020

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)