October 24, 2012
There are many similarities between developing an online course or homework exercises, and the computer-based experiments that are run in a psychology lab or with online participants. Collaborating on online education can support rigorous research, because it allows substantial experimental control – random assignment to conditions, precise specification of what is manipulated, and cost-effective dependent measures of learning. At the same time, research that explores learning processes with an eye toward their enhancement possesses a great deal of ecological validity, and permits iterative improvement of online educational environments. Instead of doing lab experiments and then following a costly process to extend the results to a physical classroom, online education allows for in vivo studies where experimental and control conditions can map to different instructional strategies, stimuli are educational materials students use every day, and dependent measures are formal assessments.
My current research explores how people's generation of explanations promotes their learning and guides reasoning. To support a role as a consultant I have acquired comprehensive knowledge in several areas: scientific research on learning, educational software (for non-programmers), aspects of education policy, and the current developments in universities, ed-tech, and the corporate world of training & development. I also hope to serve as a point of contact to leverage the tremendous amount of academic knowledge about learning and education: knowing which academics work on topics that are relevant to particular real-world learning problems.
I do research in cognitive science on learning, and my broader expertise is in online education, across K-12, Higher Education, and corporate training & development. I also work as a consultant, drawing on expertise in research and technology.