My program of research is in two aspects of design principles and measuring immersive experiences. I am passionate about these as digital media design can have significant impact on social interactions. The goal of my program of research is to bring together theory, research, and practice to understand how to better design to enhance rather than detract social interactions.
To achieve this goal, I intend to conduct research in the following areas in the next five years: 1) Identify the role of immersive experiences in educational and entertainment settings; and 2) Explore the role of design principles in digital media research and immersive environments to enhance social interactions.
Research Focus #1: Identify the role of immersive experiences in educational and entertainment settings
To date, my research on this topic includes the exploration of presence, immersion, and flow in immersive environments. In my postdoctoral position at UVIC, I have had the opportunity to conduct several user studies regarding these ideas. Our initial findings have indicated that presence, immersion, and flow are strongly present in well-designed virtual environments. As we continue to define the metrics, a conversation has arisen about the role of Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Extended Realities (VR/AR/MR/XR). Does it belong in educational institutional settings? Or does it belong in the entertainment industry? Or does it belong at all? And if it does belong, how are we measuring the impact/success/failures? My initial research begins to address some of these questions, and needs continuous exploration.
Research Focus #2: Explore the role of design principles in digital media research and immersive environments to enhance social interactions
The results of my doctoral dissertation and recent publications (see Scholarly activities for recent publications) explore the findings and continue to emphasize the role of thoughtful design. Agile design and user experience design need to be explored in immersive experiences. We need to understand how this can impact social interactions.
Both my doctoral dissertation, and research since graduating have been focused on these topics. I have presented my research at local, national and international conferences, and am currently working on publishing this research.
In my previous and current positions, I have had the opportunity to develop research capacity amongst academics, educators, and the Vancouver digital media industry. I look forward to continuing to work with these groups.
Currently, I am doing postdoctoral work with the University of Victoria (UVIC) and the University of British Columbia (UBC).
At UVIC, we are working with several collaborators, including: UBC, CDM, and the Technical University of Berlin, we focus on a virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) project. We developed a VR experience for Royal BC museum in Victoria. Our research explores the role of VR/AR in informal and formal education settings, while exploring the metrics for analyzing VR/AR.
I also recently completed some postdoctoral research at UBC, focusing on equity-oriented girls makerspaces to foster maker mindsets and maker identities in high school girls by engaging them with diverse tools, materials, mentorship, and hands-on design experiences.
I have recently been appointed as a postdoctoral fellow with the Agency for Learning in Immersive and Virtual Environments (ALIVE) lab. We are researching the role of feedback and assessment in a three-dimensional immersive virtual environment in a science inquiry experience.
My current research interests include: media studies; immersive technologies (makespaces, virtual/augmented/mixed/extended reality); digital learning and curriculum; design studies; design and technology; agile methodolgoies; educational technologies; film studies; research design and method; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); curriculum studies research; and pedagogical approaches to instruction.
|Mtiacs Accelerate (postdoctoral)||$15,000||2018|
|Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WWEST) (co-researcher)||$2500||2017|
|UBC Michael Smith Laboratories||$2500||2017|
|Wendy K. Sutton Early Childhood Literacy Award||$1,500||2017|
|Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC): How We Learn (Media & Technology Across the Lifespan) (graduate research assistant)||$371,406||2014-2017|
|UBC Curriculum & Pedagogy Department Travel Grant Award||$250||2016|
|UBC Graduate Student Travel Grant Award #6579||$500||2016|
|Faculty of Education Graduate Award #6438||$13,354||2014-2016|
|SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (Alternate list)||recommended; not funded||2014-2016|
|Special UBC Graduate Scholarship – Faculty of Education Entrance Scholarship #6372||$5128||2014|