Welcome Mimi Adjei to the LED research group!

The LED research group welcomes Mimi Adjei! Mimi is a doctoral student in Educational Studies specializing in Learning Technologies. She is originally from Ghana where she had her elementary education through to college. She completed her B.S in Actuarial Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Ghana, and holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics and an M.Ed. in Education & Teaching from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Mimi Adjei

Mimi Adjei

After spending time as a teaching assistant during her undergraduate studies, Mimi began her teaching career as a sixth-grade teacher. She taught mathematics and assisted with the day-to-day needs of the newly established department of Educational Technology. She has since taught mathematics and computer science classes at the high school and collegiate levels. Her focus is to help students develop a sense of independence in their learning through self-reflection and meaningful feedback. As a RALLY for STEM teaching fellow, Mimi champions STEM education in rural Southeastern Ohio and provides children with greater access to STEM careers. 

Mimi likes to explore new recipes and is currently developing a collection of fusion cuisines from around the world.  She also recently picked up hand embroidery as her creative outlet. 

Mimi’s current research interests include learning design & analytics, human-computer interaction (HCI), and artificial intelligence applications in education. 

Fan Xu elected as a new Officer for AECT Graduate Student Assembly

Fan Xu has recently been elected the new Social Media Officer for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Graduate Student Assembly (GSA). Fan run for this office because of her passion for serving her peers and contributing to the GSA community.

After years of study and research in learning technologies, she is pretty familiar with various social media platforms. Fan worked as a social media manager for a student association while attending the University of Hong Kong as a graduate student.

The GSA mission is to provide its members with opportunities to engage in professional leadership roles, improve networks and develop the skills and resources for solving complex problems that may arise within instructional technology. GSA members engage with research and practice-driven topics, extend their professional networks, and evolve as scholars.

Fan Xu and Deborah Hewlett presented study at #AERA2022 Computers and Internet Applications in Education SIG

Fan Xu, Deborah Hewlett, and Dr. Ana-Paula Correia presented at the American Educational Research Association 2022 Annual Meeting on their study titled A Socialized Knowledge Community on Computational Thinking – Teachers-Pay-Teachers.

Fan Xu led the virtual presentation on Teachers-Pay-Teachers and Computational Thinking as part of the Computers and Internet Applications in Education SIG program.

Abstract: To understand teachers’ attitudes toward the current Computational Thinking-related resources in socialized knowledge communities and further explore their need for Computational Thinking (CT) education, this study collected a large amount of data from the Teachers-Pay-Teachers (TPT) portal and used text mining techniques for comprehensive analysis. This work reveals that most CT resources on TPT focused on math education in primary school. Teachers hold a relatively positive attitude towards these resources, even though some online resources might be too difficult to use. The resource itself, the subject, and students at a specific grade level are the three main concerns when teachers seek supportive resources online.

A Socialized Knowledge Community on Computational Thinking: Teachers-Pay-Teachers presentation slides.

Chenxi Liu participated on-site at #AERA2022

Chenxi Liu and Dr. Ana-Paula Correia presented a study at the American Educational Research Association 2022 Annual Meeting on External Variables That Impact Mobile Learning (M-Learning) Acceptance: A Meta-Analysis. 

Chenxi led a roundtable session on a meta-analysis on the impact of mobile learning acceptance as part of the Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis SIG program.

Abstract: Mobile learning (m-learning) can positively impact learning. However, the low retention rate is a common problem many m-learning applications face. Although previous studies have investigated factors impacting learners’ acceptance of m-learning, no meta-analysis has been conducted on this topic. Based on 47 empirical studies, this meta-analysis identified five major external variables impacting learners’ acceptance of m-learning. These variables are self-efficacy, subjective norm, mobility, enjoyment, and satisfaction. All variables are moderately or strongly correlated with the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) constructs, and the relationship between subjective norm and perceived usefulness is moderated by learning context.

External Variables That Impact Mobile Learning (M-Learning) Acceptance: A Meta-Analysis i-Poster.

Chenxi also joined Dr. Minjung Kim and Junyeong Yang to present their study titled Examining the Dynamics of Students’ Affect and Learning Goal Achievement Using Dynamic Structural Equation Modeling as part of Division C – Section 2a: Cognitive and Motivational Processes program.

This study examined the complex relationship of the dynamics of student’s positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) with their learning goal achievement (LGA) using the dynamic structural equation modeling (DSEM). Based on the 32 days of intensive longitudinal data of student’s affect and LGA from the HBAPA data, we found that students had equilibrium of affect and LGA over time with no systematic changes, while the observations were significantly fluctuated. There was a significant relationship between the affect and LGA with no cross-lagged relationship between PA and NA. Three covariates (i.e., age, number of semesters studied, depression) were significantly related with the dynamics of affect and LGA.

Chenxi Liu enjoyed her first in-person AERA experience with Dr. Minjung Kim and Junyeong Yang.

Baptism by Virus

By Deborah Hewlett (hewlett.26@osu.edu)

Deborah Hewlett is a doctoral student in Learning Technologies at The Ohio State University. She taught high school mathematics for ten years and was simultaneously an adjunct for Columbus State Community College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) for three years before transitioning to a full-time position in the mathematics department at MVNU in the August of 2016. The following content is Deborah’s accounts in the first person while teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been teaching mathematics at Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) since the fall of 2016. In the fall of 2019, I took on additional responsibility when I was appointed Director of the Center for Innovative Education. What exactly that meant was a little fuzzy to me, but in general, I knew I would be helping with faculty development and learning technologies. What I didn’t know was how important that was about to become.

The first semester was very calm as I worked with my coordinator to try to get the lay of the land. I held committee meetings as the newly appointed chair of the Online Learning & Technology Committee, worked on funding to renew essential software licensing, and sent out monthly newsletters to faculty. As spring 2020 rolled around,  I worked with my committee to evaluate Technology Innovation in Education Grant applications before heading off for spring break, not knowing that the week we came back would change me forever.

Tuesday, March 10, 2:00 p.m.: Myself, my coordinator, the Director of IT, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs met to discuss “contingency plans.” If we needed to transition to remote learning in the future, what resources would we need? What training would the faculty need?

4:29 p.m.: My coordinator and I receive an email message. Subject: “It’s Happening” Message: Deborah and David: We are moving to distance learning very soon. The Faculty Forum Scheduled for Thursday is on you two to bring faculty up to speed….”

4:30 p.m.: Emergency faculty meeting

Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Final day of normal classes

Thursday, March 12, 8:50 a.m.: Faculty Forum in which myself and a few colleagues did our best to provide emergency training to the entire MVNU faculty to prepare them for emergency remote learning.

Things moved quickly; in less than two days my job went from “what ifs” to working with faculty on how to survive the rest of the semester as we helped our students continue their education from home amid a global pandemic. In private, I broke down and cried. This was too much for me to handle, I was so new and had so little experience, how was I supposed to lead our entire faculty? In public, I was positive, supportive, and enthusiastic, proclaiming that “we can do this, and we will do it well!” Some faculty were already using Zoom for hybrid instruction while others had never even put resources online in our Learning Management System. Over the next few months, I assisted faculty (remotely) with technology issues, help them put assessments online, and facilitated training as needed.

MVNU Math department masked and socially distancing on our first day of classes.

During the summer of 2020, I worked with my coordinator, the academic leadership team, and IT to figure out how we could return to the classroom in the fall. The plan was to reopen the campus with low-density classrooms. Students had to be seated at a minimum of six feet apart, which meant that in most cases not all students would be able to fit into the room at the same time. Some classes were reassigned to larger rooms, but most were going to have to do hybrid learning. Half of the students would be in the classroom while the other half attended remotely, and the next class day they would switch. The technological challenge with this was that some classrooms had VGA cables while others had HDMI, and our faculty were using five different models of school-issued laptops with three different types of ports. It felt like that scene in the movie Apollo 13 where the engineers in Houston had to figure out how to help the astronauts in space fit a square filter in a round hole. The IT department wired each classroom with the necessary USB hubs, cameras, and connections while I created documents and videos for each laptop model instructing faculty on how to connect for hybrid learning as well as how to pair their Bluetooth headsets with their computers. Each faculty member was issued a packet with a headset and the various adaptors needed for their laptop model, and myself and my coordinator held live workshops with each department on campus to help them practice connecting.

Students working in hybrid groups during one of my classes.

The fall of 2020 was as much of a success as it could be. Students could not sit next to each other, work in groups, or see each others’ full faces, but they could be on campus and in the classroom. While there was some grumbling, in general everyone was just thankful to be back. Technology that would not have been available even 10 years ago made it possible to be back in the classroom safely, and we made it through the entire year in-seat. Faculty were weary of the hybrid modality, but we provided our students with the best experience that we could through the spring of 2021.

In the fall of 2021, we opened back up in a near-normal environment. Students were no longer required to socially distance, which allowed faculty to resume collaborative learning and allowed students to build relationships with each other. While weekly Covid-19 surveillance testing on campus resulted in students being in and out of quarantine, we took the technology and experience from our hybrid learning year and moved these students seamlessly in and out of remote learning. Faculty used technology like breakout rooms and online whiteboards to help students participate virtually, and students in the classroom used their laptops to work with any remote group members via live sessions during class.

While the pandemic continues, MVNU is nearly back to normal. We are still utilizing hybrid technology as needed, but for the most part they are getting the full college experience. We are no longer required to wear masks, and activities like intramural sports have resumed. As for me, well, I went from helping those few faculty members who were interested in technology to leading a campus-wide pivot to remote learning. Had I known I would be thrust into the spotlight like that I might not have taken the position, but I am thankful for the ways I have grown through it. I am more confident in my leadership skills and have built relationships with faculty and staff across campus. The big question for me is, “what now?”

Sporting the face shield many of us used fall 2020 while my masked and socially-distanced students took a test.

Now that I am not spending time ‘putting out fires’ so-to-speak, how will I help my university move forward into the future? What long-term changes will the pandemic bring to higher education and how can I help keep us relevant? Beyond being relevant, how can I help us innovate? These are questions I am seeking to answer. I started taking courses toward a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies at The Ohio State University in the summer of 2020 and am using the knowledge I have gained through my coursework to be innovative in my courses. I now seek to research ways to innovate education and support faculty and students in higher education.”


LED research group welcomes Jiarui Xie!

The LED research group welcomes Jiarui Xie! Jiarui Xie is a doctoral student in Education specializing in Learning Technologies. Jiarui holds a B.S. and M.S. in Educational Technology from Shaanxi Normal University in China in 2016 and 2019, respectively. She also studied at the University of California, San Diego, for four months in 2018.

Jiarui Xie

Jiarui worked as a news videographer and a news editor at the News Center of Shaanxi Normal University during her undergraduate studies. She was mainly responsible for filming critical events in the university, then editing them into video news, and posting the information on its website. She also worked as a graduate teaching assistant at Shaanxi Normal University. She helped her advisor design and create two online courses for undergraduates during this period. After graduation and before she started her doctoral study, she taught an English course at Xi’an Vocational and Technical College in China.

Jiarui likes to travel and explore different cuisines. She is a food critic with nearly 2,000 fans. She often publishes food reviews on a well-known food app in China named Dianping; more than 5 million people have viewed her posts.

Jiarui’s current research interests include online teaching and learning, learning design, collaborative learning, mixed research methods, and equity in Education.

LED Research Group Welcomes Brazilian Visiting Scholar

In January 2021, the group welcomed Professor Vivian Martins as the first Learning & Experience Research Group visiting scholar. Vivian joined us from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Brazil where she is a doctoral candidate in Education. She is a member of the Teaching and Cyberculture research group at UERJ and her research revolves around online education, education & cyberculture, and educational technologies.

Vivian meets periodically with Dr. Ana-Paula Correia, discusses her research with the members of the research group, and introduces them to novel concepts like hypermobility and cyberculture in Education.

For more about Vivian Martins and her experience at Ohio State check out CETE News “Schools Belong to Everyone. A Closer Look at Educational Technology in Brazil with Visiting Scholar Vivian Martins” by Marcie Kamb.

Unforeseen expectations for an academic year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

By Fan XU (xu.3849@osu.edu) and Chenxi Liu (liu.8184@osu.edu)

Fan Xu and Chenxi Liu are Ohio State’s Ph.D. students in the Learning Technologies program. In the paragraphs below, they describe their unexpected feelings about the first year of their Ph.D. program as international students and their different expectations for the upcoming academic year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re the lucky ones but not everyone is so lucky during the pandemic,” says Fan Xu

When the coronavirus outbreak got started, I was enjoying the spring break of my first year of doctoral studies in Learning Technologies at The Ohio State University. My boyfriend and I decided to stay at home spending the three-day break rather than setting out a short trip. Obviously, it was a terrible idea but I had assumed I would be able to go for a better trip at the end of the semester.

All classes were moved online when we went back from the break. My school made a very quick and wise reaction, which I realized much later as the number of confirmed cases increased crazily. The first few weeks of quarantine was not that bad because I had no time to feel bad. Time was spent to get used to establish a new normal: to prepare myself for classes via the camera on my laptop; and to set a Skype account to communicate with my advisor, Dr. Correia, and colleagues for my research assistant job. Many personal issues such as taking the driver’s license exam, going to doctor’s appointments, etc. had to be canceled or suspended.

As the situation in the U.S. had no sign of getting better while the anti-epidemic actions in China made some improvements, many of my friends who are also international students chose to go back to their families in their home countries. This was the time that I began to feel overwhelming loneliness. Working from home became harder than I expected. I struggled with pulling myself together from anxious and unmotivated emotions again and again. The only thing that stopped me from flying back to my family was the danger of contamination with COVID-19 in a crowded airport and narrow airplane.

However, in the long run, that was a wise decision. At the beginning of July, the return to U.S. higher education institutions has been thrown into question for countless international students after a directive by the Trump administration that students whose classes were moving entirely online for the fall would be stripped of their visas and required to leave the United States. Those who were still in the U.S., including myself, would face the possibility that they might be sent to their home countries if they did not have face-to-face or hybrid courses, which were not offered by most schools for safety reasons. This situation made me feel disappointed about this country like never before and it was my first time having the feeling that I may not be able to finish my education here. It seemed that the only thing we could do was wait for the university’s response. This time of waiting made me understand what “leading lives of quiet desperation” in Thoreau’s words means.

Luckily, as a result of the efforts made by many universities, the Trump administration rescinded this policy. We witnessed Ohio State fighting against the outrageous policy for its students, in particular for the international students. Every week we received emails from the Department of Educational Studies and the College of Education and Human Ecology with COVID-19 updates, reminders of important issues, and support for students regarding both distance learning options and student life. Besides the mental and moral support, the emergency funding provided by Ohio State assisted us with unexpected expenses as a result of COVID-19. More importantly, my advisor has kept in close contact with me through virtual meetings or emails and our research groupmates often sent messages to check on each other. As we, international students, are far away from our home, families, and friends, the kindness and care from people around us during the quarantine was crucial to tide us over.

Chenxi and Fan at the Learning & Experience Design research group kick-off meeting of the Autumn 2020 semester.

“We’ll move forward firmly and hope we can inspire more international students like us,” says Chenxi Liu

Although this global pandemic brought some challenges for the first summer of my doctoral journey in the U.S., with the support from my advisor, professors, and school staff, I was lucky enough to keep things going and see how Learning Technologies can contribute to today’s education.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Correia, we examined four popular video conferencing systems for e-learning as part of Fan and my summer research assistantship. With the purposes of education in mind, we provided guidance on selecting video conferencing systems and made recommendations for systems improvement. The rewarding experience of conducting a research project in a short period of time and with an awesome team is something that is going to stay with me for a long time. During the summer and to strengthen my understanding of the K-12 online teaching landscape in the U.S., I took a K-12 online teaching course taught by Dr. Tracey Stuckey-Mickell and addressed current problems related to online teaching and learning. Moreover, I was notified that our proposals were accepted by the 2020 Association for Educational Communications and Technology Virtual Conference. I am honored to be able to make contributes to online education, especially during the pandemic, in which many schools are transforming face-to-face classes into online and virtual classes.

Although this summer, I’ve encountered some uncertainties and challenges when planning for the coming fall semester due to repeated changes of the SEVP guidance issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with the support of our advisor, professors, colleagues, department, college, and university, we were ready to face the upcoming fall semester of 2020.

In summary

Because the pandemic is not over yet, Fan and Chenxi believe that many students choose to take online classes in the upcoming semester just like them. As international doctoral students, these are their thoughts on successfully completing their studies and conducting research in a time of the pandemic.

  • Due to their special status, international students should pay close attention to any changes to policies that impact them and follow the information released by the Office of International Students and Scholars and other university-related offices.
  • When you need help, don’t be afraid to ask questions and set up online meetings with your advisor, professors, and peers. They are your support system and are there to help you.
  • When designing a research project, consider the possibility of switching from in-person study to remote study.
  • Use your time to learn technology tools that can be used to support remote data collection & analysis as well as research conceptualization.
  • Relax, maintain regular exercise, and keep in contact with your friends and family.

Fan Xu and Chenxi at the 2020 Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology Student Research Forum (February 2020).

The New Meaning of Ph.D.

By Erin Clarke-Dorrell (dorrell.11@osu.edu)

The last time we posted on this blog, COVID-19 was starting to make its presence more widely known across the globe. We sure did not anticipate still focusing on this topic and the continued impact so many months later. So, you may wonder what it is like being a doctoral student amid a global pandemic. Honestly, the pandemic has not really changed how the members of the LED Research Group continue in our Ph.D. program. Predictably and probably due to the field, our learning technologies courses transitioned fairly smoothly to entirely online learning. Additionally, there is a level of autonomy that governs the work we do as graduate students, leaving little difficulties there. However, it is always nice knowing that we can reach out to fellow research group members and advisor for needed support.

Nevertheless, moving towards the autumn 2020 semester leaves so much uncertainty. That is the reason behind the following tips for being a good doctoral student during a pandemic.

  • Try and set up a dedicated work/study space
  • Ensure everyone in your household knows when you have classes or meetings via Zoom
  • Better yet, play around with the virtual background feature on Zoom
  • Always mute yourself unless you are speaking during virtual classes/meetings
  • Reach out to those in your cohort to keep a sense of community
  • Ask questions about anything you are uncertain
  • Be flexible and know EVENTUALLY this too shall pass

zoom meeting during the pandemic

Given the global pandemic of 2020, upon completion of our programs, I believe that instead of receiving a diploma with a Ph.D. as an acronym for Doctor of Philosophy, it should be Pandemic Henceforth Dedication. We never planned for this to happen, but we have moved forward, embraced all the Zoom meetings, and look towards hope in the future. Learning technologies has been given the opportunity to shine, and we want to make sure that continues to happen.

Prepare, respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

In an effort to support our colleagues in China to respond and recover from #COVID19 pandemic, the LED research group created a TOOLKIT for Online Teaching and Learning / 线上教学工具箱

PDF available here.

Given the disruption caused by the #coronavirus #COVID19, the LED research group hopes that these expert-curated resources on online learning and teaching may add a sense of normalcy and social interaction for both the online teachers and learners.


8 Tips for Teaching Online- Spoiler: It Gets Better with Time
By Bill Schiano & Espen Andersen (March 2019)
It offers eight intuitive but important tips for preparing, maintaining, and teaching online.

Take your teaching online
By the Open University (OpenLearn) free course

Teaching Online Simplified: A Quick Guide for Instructors
By F. D. Yusop & Ana-Paula Correia (2017)
University of Malaya Press, 110 p. ISBN: 978-983-100-948-2
This book intends to serve as a practical guide or “handbook” for those who have limited or no prior knowledge in teaching and/or education but are interested in online teaching or have to teach online.


Tracing Successful Online Teaching in Higher Education: Voices of Exemplary Online Teachers
By Evrim Baran, Ana-Paula Correia & Ann Thompson (2013)
The findings of this study indicated that when teachers described their successful practices, they often linked them to their changing roles and new representation of their “selves” within an online environment. Their portrayal of the teacher self, both built on a plethora of previous experiences and reformed with the affordances and limitations of the online environment, went through a process whereby teachers were constantly challenged to make themselves heard, known, and felt by their students. This study showed that it was critical to listen to teachers’ voices and give them a participatory role in the creation and use of their knowledge and experience in order to form their online teacher personas. As a result, programs that prepare faculty to teach online may need to encourage teachers to reflect on their past experiences, assumptions, and beliefs toward learning and teaching and transform their perspectives by engaging in pedagogical inquiry and problem solving.

How to Be a Better Online Teacher ADVICE GUIDE
By Flower Darby (2020)
Discusses 10 essential principles and practices to teach online.


Specific Activities to Promote Online Discussions
By Rhonda Dubec (February 2018)
It provides useful teaching strategies to promote students’ online discussion with several video examples and detailed instructions.

20 Collaborative Learning Tips and Strategies for Teachers
by TeachThought Staff (February 3, 2020)
It offers strategies for collaborative learning that can be used in face to face or online class interactions.

Authentic Online Discussions: A Narrative Inquiry into Sharing Leadership and Facilitation Among Teachers and Students
By Ana-Paula Correia, Cara A. North, Ceren Korkmaz, Vicki Simmerman & Karen Bruce Wallace (2019)
International Journal on E-Learning, 18(2), 165-189.
The literature has tended to focus on the instructor’s role in moderation and facilitation while paying less attention to more student-focused strategies that foster meaningful dialogue and engagement on their part. Centering the learner, this study presents an innovative approach for online discussions, examining a case where online students created and facilitated online discussions for a graduate-level course at a Midwestern research university. The study offers reflections from four graduate students, between the ages of 20-55, who took the course over the past two years, and who have analyzed what they gained from creating and facilitating discussion. These students’ reflections foreground how, by participating in this process, they experienced an authentic sense of connectedness and collaboration, as they had the opportunity to bring their perspectives and priorities to the course and take responsibility for their own and their classmates’ success.

Live synchronous web meetings in asynchronous online courses: Reconceptualizing virtual office hours
By P. R. Lowenthal, J. C. Dunlap & C. Snelson (2017)
Online Learning 21(4), 177-194.
This article discusses how to successfully implement online office hours.

Making the Most of Virtual Office Hours
(2019, January 22)
Austin Community College Speech professor Tasha Davis, Ph.D., shares her experience with hosting virtual office hours and ways to maximize your one-on-one time with students.


Quality Assurance
By The Ohio State University’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE) (2020)
To support instructors and academic units in creating high-quality courses, the ODEE instructional design team has developed a set of internal standards that capture university policies, recent scholarship on student success and feedback from Ohio State faculty collaborators.


The UDL Guidelines
By the Center for Applied Special Technology Universal Design (2020)
Learn about learning guidelines for Universal Design.
Available in Traditional Chinese
Available in Simplified Chinese


Online Teaching Tools and Resources
By Yale University Center for Language Study (2020)
This resource contains a list of free tools and resources for language teachers to use in their classrooms.

Live presentation platforms available in China without VPN
网易云信 https://netease.im/livetool
轻课云 http://www.qingkeyun.cn/

For more information

e-Education Research
The Chinese Journal of ICT in Education

Articles in these high-quality Chinese journals explore teachers’ behaviors when teaching online, teachers & learners’ feedback about online courses, strategies to improve learners’ engagement in online learning, teachers & learners’ role in online learning contexts, among other topics.