Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2014


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

David D. Carbonara

Committee Member

Rose Mary Mautino

Committee Member

Valerie Swarts


Educational technology, professional development, Social media, Twitter, Uses and Gratifications Theory


Throughout the years, the practice of professional development amongst educators has evolved to adapt to the needs of a changing society and a shift to online professional development (OPD) opportunities has become popular for meeting the needs of educators. As a result, social media platforms, like Twitter, have grown in popularity as outlets for OPD; however, little research has been conducted to evaluate why educators are seeking professional development opportunities through social media platforms.

This exploratory study proposed to examine how educators' uses and gratifications expectancy of Twitter for professional development influences their perceived e-learning experience. In addition, it sought to investigate the demographics of participants who were seeking educational technology knowledge through Twitter. Based on a review of literature, a uses and gratifications approach was the proposed theoretical model for evaluating how and why educators' perceived e-learning experience was affected by four uses and gratification expectancy constructs.

The participants included any educators who utilized the #edtechchat hashtags on Twitter, which is devoted to the sharing of educational technology knowledge, as well as weekly, organized Twitter chats on topics related to educational technology. The data was collected through a Web-based survey based on an adapted version of Mondi, Woods, and Rafi (2008) Uses and Gratification Expectancy Questionnaire, where the researchers examined how and why students' uses and gratification expectancy (UGE) for e-learning resources influenced their perceived e-learning experience.

The data was analyzed through Pearson correlation coefficient and a stepwise multiple regression to discover which UGE constructs predicted educators' perceived e-learning experience. All four UGE constructs showed significant effects on perceived e-learning experience; however, the stepwise regression results showed cognitive uses and gratifications expectancy to be the only significant predictor of perceived e-learning experience. The findings of this research supports previous research into uses and gratifications of Internet-based tools and may help Twitter chat moderators plan their efforts for coordinating effective professional development experiences.