Amanda Stafford

  • Doctoral Student

As an Instructional Designer, I have dedicated more than a decade working with teachers to improve the quality of learning experiences for their students in hybrid/blended, flipped, and fully-online courses. This background informs my approach to my PhD studies, as I bring professional interests in the following areas to my academic exploration of teaching, learning, instructional design, and educational technologies:

  • better engaging and motivating learners;
  • determining goodness-of-fit between learning context and the learning activities, assessments, materials, and technologies used to teach;
  • enhancing peer-to-peer collaboration and cooperation, especially online;
  • developing learning environments and activities that foster active learning, problem-solving, self-direction, critical thinking, and creative expression;
  • increasing sense of presence and the degree of instructor-student interaction in the learning process; and (most importantly)
  • making learning student-centered and FUN!

I believe the meaningful use of learning technologies, when married with sound instructional design and effective teaching practices, can enhance, elevate, and even transform learning. Therefore, I am most interested in exploring how learning experiences should best be designed within new/emerging learning spaces and contexts—such as XR and educational gaming environments—to achieve optimal learning outcomes and transfer of learning in addition to increased engagement in the learning process.

On the personal side, my life outside of work and school revolves around my husband and two elementary-aged sons. We love camping, hiking, riding bikes, golfing, soccer, baseball, swimming, playing music, playing video games and board games, reading, making art, watching movies, traveling and sightseeing, doing science experiments…. The list goes on, and we are always on the go!