Recent Featured News

Lab welcomes two new members

Two new members have joined our lab this Fall—Jessica Bates and Mike Frazier—who are first year PhD students in the Learning Technologies program.

Jessica has been an educator and online course developer since 2008. She currently is the K-8 Curriculum Supervisor for Virtual Virginia, a program of the Virginia Department of Education. In this role, she oversees course design and development for multiple levels and content areas. She also provides training in instructional design for online course developers. Her academic interests include instructional design and development, technology integration in teaching and learning, social emotional learning in the virtual setting, and learner’s motivation and engagement in the digital environment.

Mike joins us after teaching English, Writing, and Education Technology for eleven years in K-12 and Higher Education settings in both central Ohio and South Korea. With degrees and certifications in English, English Education, Education Technology, and Teacher Leadership, he is now interested in furthering the field through research and professional development, keeping one foot in the classroom and one foot in academia.

Mitchell Shortt successfully defended his dissertation


Congratulations to Mitchell Shortt — a doctoral student in the Learning Technologies PHD program. He successfully defend his doctoral dissertation entitled “Online Racial Discrimination, the Academic Outcomes, and How Students Defend Themselves“! In his dissertation, Mitch examined the prevalence of online racial discrimination (ORD) among adolescents and young adults, how ORD impacted their academic outcomes, and how they defended themselves from ORD. Thanks to Mitchell’s committee: Kui Xie (advisor), Karen Beard, Tzu-Jung Lin, and Carolyn M. Sommerich (external examiner). Please join us to congratulate Dr. Mitchell Shortt!!! (more…)

Students Deserve an Answer When They Ask, “When Will I Ever Use This?” In Math Class

By Margaret A. Bowman, Ph.D., Academic Designer at McGraw Hill

Here’s How Technology Can Help
Every math teacher has likely heard it before: “When am I ever going to use this?”

While some students quickly pick up anything mathematical, others mumble through class about how they don’t like math, they aren’t good at math, math just isn’t “their thing”, and they’re never going to use it in real life. Students who think this way often have had a bad experience with math and struggle to connect what they learn in school to their own lives, both current and future. Research shows, though, that motivation is critical to short- and long-term mathematical performance (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). Without intervention, these students’ motivation for learning math is only going to get worse. (more…)

2020-2021 Graduates Sharing Job Searching Tips

For recent and upcoming graduates looking to start their careers, the 2020-2021 job market was daunting. Looking for work during the COVID-19 pandemic meant parsing through an unusually small number of opportunities and carrying out much more of the interview process virtually. During these uncertain times, lab members Lin Lu, Nathan Hawk, and Mike Nelson were able to successfully land meaningful positions that will begin in the summer and fall of 2021. Below you can find brief profiles of them along with descriptions of their new positions. They have also provided some insights regarding what they thought helped them navigate the difficult job market. (more…)

When life schools us

Stories by Robin Chenoweth | Illustrations by Joseph Carrington

Education experts share lessons on K–12 students’ learning that will outlast the pandemic.

Seven-year-old Renee is all too aware of the challenges of learning during a pandemic. In October, with hybrid education in full swing because of COVID-19, the first-grader became so vexed with an uncooperative learning module that she chucked the family iPad across the room. (more…)

High school students tend to get more motivated over time when they feel belong


Study suggests feeling of belongingness key to improvement

By Jeff Grabmeier, grabmeier.1@osu.edu

Parents may fear that if their high school student isn’t motivated to do well in classes, there’s nothing that will change that.

But a new study that followed more than 1,600 students over two years found that students’ academic motivation often did change – and usually for the better.

Results showed that increasing students’ sense of “belongingness” in school was one key way of increasing academic motivation. (more…)

Nathan Hawk wins an Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship

Congratulations to Nathan Hawk, a member of the Research Laboratory for Digital Learning and a PhD candidate in the learning technologies program at The Ohio State University. He has received an award from the Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship program – an annual highly competitive program that is eligible to any graduate student across the university’s colleges. The grants “support the research and scholarship of doctoral or terminal master’s degree candidates for their dissertations or theses.” (more…)

Strive for Achievement in 2020 through Virtual Collaborations

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning (RLDL) at The Ohio State University has continued its effort in conducting educational research and advancing the science of learning. The social distancing practice and the travel restrictions have hindered our practice of translational research where we would normally travel to schools and work with teachers and administrators to generate research questions and then use research to help inform practice.

Lab members worked collaboratively at distance. Through weekly meetings and collaborative effort, we build a cohesive team with members support each other. Again we had an exceptional year full of impactful research and teaching. Here are some highlights of our 2020 Résumé. (more…)

New Professors Share Their Experiences in 2020

The year 2020 has been a very challenging year for graduate students on the job market. In the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities had hiring freezes. The academic job market has been extremely competitive. Four former members of The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning successfully secured professor positions in 2020. They share their experiences and offer advice about how to prepare yourself for academic jobs. (more…)