Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Torrey Trust

Second Advisor

Ivon Arroyo

Third Advisor

Andrea Dallas

Subject Categories

Educational Technology


The purpose of this dissertation is to understand why and how faculty use a learning management system (LMS) and what demographic factors and barriers influence faculty LMS use in U.S. higher education. Nearly 98.1% of higher education institutions in the United States have invested in at least one LMS to facilitate student learning and faculty teaching (LMS Data, 2023). However, there have been a limited number of studies exploring factors that influence U.S. faculty use of LMS. Faculty (n=191) across the United States responded to an online survey answering open-ended, and Likert-scale questions about LMS use, as well as questions about demographics. Fifteen participants were selected for in-depth follow-up interviews. The results show two consistent reasons why and how faculty use LMS: hosting course materials and communicating with students. Interestingly, facilitating learning activities was rarely mentioned. These results imply that LMSs are more commonly seen by faculty members as administrative and logistical tools than as instruments for facilitating student learning. Viewed through the lens of the PICRAT model, a recently developed technology integration model that not only focuses on the technology and the instructor but also includes student interaction with the technology, LMS utilization is mainly at the lower-left corner of the matrix, Passive-Replacement (PR). Faculty members should be encouraged to investigate and use LMS features beyond administrative responsibilities, allowing students to engage in interactive and collaborative learning experiences. The other major components of the dissertation looked at barriers that hindered and demographic factors that affected LMS integration. First-order barriers included lack of features in LMS, lack of time and navigation issues. Second-order barriers included comfort level with figuring out how to use an LMS, beliefs about how learning happens, and pedagogical beliefs. The impediments that have been found, particularly those that concern usability, feature limits, and faculty comfort, emphasize areas that could use improvement and support to increase faculty integration of LMS platforms and involvement. Lastly, while gender did not influence LMS utilization, age and experience were found to be factors affecting LMS use. The results highlight the need for extensive training and professional development support programs.