I am a current PhD candidate, instructor, and researcher at Harvard. My research interests include how people learn in immersive technology-enabled environments like virtual reality (VR). In particular, I am interested in questions around how educational experiences may change how young people see themselves, and their motivation to learn, through the authentic "hands-on" tasks and environments the technology affords, and how such experiences may affect learners with diverse identities and cultural backgrounds.
For my dissertation, I partnered with a high school science teacher to design a series of lessons using VR field trips to Antarctica and the International Space Station. Using mixed methods, I am looking at how students learned in these environments over time, the impact the lessons had on their motivation to learn and identity toward STEM, and how using different types of VR affected their experiences. In particular, I am interested in understanding learners' sense of agency in VR and the role interactivity plays, questions that build on my prior work on VR in remote learning contexts. As design-based research, it also contributes to a growing need to understand learning with VR in authentic classroom contexts.
I am also a member of the newly-founded Next Level Lab in Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education which aims to understand how workforce training could be improved by applying what we know from the learning sciences. There I am studying how immersive technologies impact adult learning, including a study of a VR program that allows job-seekers who are formerly incarcerated to practice interviewing.
Previously I worked on the EcoXPT project at Project Zero, an ecosystem science curriculum set in an immersive virtual world, under principal investigators Chris Dede and Tina Grotzer. I also conducted research on users of Massive Open Online Courses and Makerspaces with a focus on the role gender plays in these learning environments. Prior to arriving at Harvard, I conducted research on education policy in low- and middle- income countries, at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings in Washington, D.C. and at the Education Reform Initiative in Istanbul.