Date of Award

Fall 11-5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Jim Wright

Committee Chair

Laurie Brantley-Dias

Second Committee Member

Ann M. Bennett



This case study (Merriam, 1998) describes the experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of four twelfth-grade students at Bob Jones High School (pseudonym) with literacy deficiencies as they used collaborative technology tools in an online after-school tutoring program that focused on reading and writing skills. Leveraging the sociocultural theory of reading (Freebod & Luke, 1990), participants worked collaboratively to strengthen skills while completing tasks. In addition, students used online collaborative tools, based on the principles of the New Literacies Studies (Gee, 2010), to construct and share meaning. Data collection included semi-structured interviews, participant observation and student artifacts. The data from these sources were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The data from the study showed that although students took time to adjust to from the face-to-face learning environment to an online virtual environment during COVID-19 pandemic, they described and exhibited positive experiences and attitudes while working collaboratively. Students experiences and attitudes toward online collaborative tools were a mixture between positive and indifferent. Students became accustomed to using these tools and did not indicate overly positive or definitively negative attitude toward online collaborative tools. Students did perceive the usefulness of these tools because of their speed, ease, and convenience and identified how they could be used in other classes. The findings from this study support the use of small-group instruction and online collaborative technology tools to support students with literacy deficiencies.