Research

Finding a Gateway to Computer Science for Underrepresented Middle School Girls (Spring 2011-Present)

My dissertation research investigates the attitudes of African American middle school girls toward computer science and the factors that influence these attitudes.  I used computer science workshops as an intervention for female members of various outreach/community organizations.  This research research uses an embedded mixed method approach where the qualitative component was embedded within a quasi-experimental design. Quantitative data was collected through surveys and qualitative data was collected through focus group interviews. 

Tablets in the Classroom (Spring 2011-Present)

I currently work as an Instructional Technology Team member in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.  While assisting with the tablet PC initiative, I have investigated the role of Tablet PCs in classroom collaboration and the way in which tablet PCs support various learning styles.  I have also investigated the use of role-playing as a technique to train faculty to use tablet technologies.

System for Tangible Animated Gaming: Embodied Storytelling (Spring 2008-Fall 2010)

STAGES is a tool that enables students to author and tangibly interact with non-linear stories. The purpose of STAGES is to encourage students to think divergently and engage in a deeper imagination concerning the stories they create.  I investigated the affect that non-linear stories have on a child’s creative imagination and how tangible interaction engages and embodies the user.  User studies were conducted in collaboration with 8th grade students in the Roanoke County School District.

Card-table (Spring 2008)

Card-table is a system that uses an index card metaphor to interact with large amounts of information.  I investigated how people make sense of this information and investigated various techniques for interacting with the virtual index cards using gesture, voice, and a PDA.

Tangible Gaming (Fall 2006-Fall 2007)

I assisted in developing an embodied, computer-supported, hyper-narrative based gaming system. After consulting with historians, this system was designed to help students better understand the context of historical information.