Photo of Dr. Joe Griffin

Ph.D. Graduate: Joe Griffin, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: Learning Analytics and Psychophysiology: Understanding the Learning Process in a STEM Game

Dissertation Co-Advisors: Dr. James Laffey and Dr. Joi Moore

Dissertation Summary: The study investigates the impact of psychophysiology data on the learning analytics process in educational games. Through a summative user experience study involving nine participants, eye tracking and electrodermal activity (EDA) data were collected. These data were then compared with results from a learning analytics model derived from a prior larger field test, aiming to explore connections and correlations between the datasets. By analyzing participants’ attention patterns and emotional arousal during gameplay, the study also provides insights into factors influencing engaging educational game design. The findings emphasize the importance of integrating psychophysiology indicators into user experience testing and learning analytics to enhance attention, engagement, and learning outcomes.

Career Plans: Director of Adroit Studios at the University of Missouri

Photo of Dr. Minh Pham

Ph.D. Graduate: Dr. Minh Pham, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: The effects of question prompt-based scaffolding and social presence enhancement on students’ argumentation and ill-structured problem solving

Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Rose M. Marra

Dissertation Summary: The study examines the effectiveness of question prompts and social presence enhancement strategies in enhancing students’ argumentation and problem-solving skills in asynchronous online discussion forums. The findings highlight the significance of scaffolding students’ problem-solving activities and fostering their social presence to improve their argumentation and problem-solving performance. This study offers valuable insights for instructional designers and instructors aiming to enhance argumentation and problem-solving abilities in online discussions.

Career Plans: Dr. Pham will be working as a Learning Science and Analytics Specialist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In her role, she will be utilizing data science tools and techniques to analyze students’ learning data and provide support to enhance their learning performance.

Photo of Dr. Kanu Priya Singh

Ph.D. Graduate: Kanu Priya Singh, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title:Entangled Collaborations: A study of cross-disciplinary research collaboration in the field of user experience and data-intensive technologies in campus cyberinfrastructure

Dissertation Advisor:Dr. Isa Jahnke

Dissertation Summary: Cyberinfrastructure is a large-scale sociotechnical system that requires and serves cross-disciplinary scientific research collaborations. Cyberinfrastructure studies face two challenges, the application challenge, in which user experience (UX) studies seem to be less important when developing new cyberinfrastructure applications, and the research collaboration challenge of working in cross-disciplinary teams. This three-article dissertation examined the dynamics of integrating UX studies in cyberinfrastructure research project and its impact on the entangled (intertwined relations) cross-disciplinary scientific collaborations in the context of cyberinfrastructure research projects.

Career Plans: PostDoc Associate at the XRPeds Lab at Yale University. At XRPeds lab, Dr. Singh will be working with XR Technologies for the development, evaluation, and implementation of a virtual reality-based videogame intervention for adolescents focused on nicotine and marijuana use prevention in youth.

Fall 2022

Photo of Dr. Alex Urban

Dr. Alex Urban used a multi-method approach and virtual reality (VR) technology to investigate how and to what extent awe fosters curiosity and exploration. Awe is a sense of enormity that alludes comprehension. Because of awe’s properties as a knowledge emotion, awe elicitors can increase awareness of knowledge gaps, boost scientific interest, and promote inquiry. He discovered, however, the relationship between awe and exploratory behavior, such as information seeking, remains unclear.

Photo of Dr. Devon Whetstone

Dr. Devon Whetstone analyzed qualitative content to trace the development of information literacy construct definitions in seminal research documents over the past half-century. An information-literate population is a fundamental component of modern society, but what does it mean to be information-literate? Definitions and frameworks for education programs are heavily debated within the information literacy research community. Through the lens of Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions, her dissertation examined the progress of the information literacy research domain using scientometric methods.

Photo of Dr. Grace Zhou Seo

Dr. Grace Zhou Seo employed an exploratory two-case study design to examine how higher education institutions sustain Open Education Resource initiatives. For the past decade, a growing movement has been promising to transform higher education: the Open Education Resource (OER) movement. The awareness of OER has increased in U.S. higher education. OER activists and leaders have seen OER development has the potential as an innovative tool for making education affordable to the masses, improving student access to education, and enhancing student success through OER-enabled pedagogy. Many educational institutions have supported OER creation and use and have launched their initiatives to provide services and funding for professors to adopt, adapt, and create OER. While there are many positive impacts of OER, the challenges of sustaining OER have become prominent.