Why am I here?

While working as an Instructional Designer, I wondered if the courses I developed were successful in achieving the learning objectives.  Feedback or measurements are corners that are cut, leaving me without the information I need to improve.  I entered into the Mind, Brain, and Teaching graduate certificate program at John Hopkins.  This is where I started to discover my interests in cognition and game-based learning.  I explored design elements and stumbled on to research about stored color knowledge.  Although I learned a lot, the experience only created more questions. In looking for a PhD program I wanted to continue my study in learning cognition. Explore game-based learning further and tap into other innovative ways of looking at and delivering content.

Research Interests

  • How learning happens: Cognitive processing, knowledge development
  • Instructional Design: Processes, theories, and techniques for optimal design
  • Innovations in Learning: Game-based learning, gamification, technology interventions

Educational Milestones

LTEC 6510 Introduction to Research: The class time spent on types of research, concepts and analysis was beneficial in the class research project.  Our informal study looked at stored color knowledge. We compared time taken to complete a found object game with natural color to a similar game using unnatural color.  Similar research had been done prior to the use of technology for learning.  We tested the belief that unnatural color would affect information processing time.  Although our sample was small, we found merit in the study and got ideas for improvement. Currently working on an IRB to complete this research.

LTEC 6511 Research in Learning Technology: First exposure to SPSS, which was taught along with research concepts.  We learned how to create our scale, gather, code, and validate data. We gained a higher understanding of which types of analysis to use, and what the results mean.  The step-by-step guidance made it possible to apply in our own study.  We conducted an informal survey on the comfort level of adults with digital technology. Our data was organized, coded, validated and analyzed in SPSS. We found some correlation between level of education and comfort with technology.

LTEC 6512 Analysis of Qualitative Research: Always thought reliability was only in quantitative data, until this class. Learned how qualitative research can be beneficial in sense making and how to conduct it in scientific manner.  First exposure to gathering qualitative data and coding.  Created a rough design of a study comparing achievement with the use of gamification integrated on to a learning management system, with not having gamification.  This will be revisited after we have fully implemented gamification at work.

LTEC 6516 Computer Mediated-Discourse Analysis: Mind blown!  Had no idea social media discourse could be collected, coded and used to learn about the audience. Introduced to systemigram and have made several since class has ended.  Would like to apply soft system methodology to a problem and study it further in the future. This class motivated the idea to develop and study a fake news game, which I hope to get back. In addition, motivated a desire to look into a social media data mining study.

LTEC 6250 Systems Design & Management: Demonstrations and activities in class were helpful in understanding identifying and mapping the path of system problems, as well as process improvement. This made it possible to analyze a familiar problem of a lack in feedback that instructional designers get, due to cutting evaluation measurements out. This highlighted two areas for future qualitative research. First, how are instructional designers used in organizations. Second, how do instructional designers get feedback. In addition, this closer look at measuring training spurred my dissertation direction.

LTEC 6121 Leadership Development: The focused study on leadership styles were helpful in gaining perspective on current work situations, which provoked beneficial conversations.  Everything about this class was hard work, but the reward was well worth it.  Learned and discussed how to do a systematic literature review.  Applied this to research and write my portion of ‘Gaming Leadership Development with Multi-rater Assessment,’ which was published in Performance Improvement Quarterly. Guidance given on the systematic literature review has been applied long after class ended.

LTEC 6310 Digital Game-based Learning: Course work included designing a learning game, sharing a gamification design and a game-based learning literature review.  The gamification design was revised and presented at the TCC Worldwide Conference.  The game-based learning literature review was revised and submitted for publication in Reimaging Education. Research done in writing the game-based learning paper highlighted gaps in cognitive load research which motivated addressing for dissertation.