Graduate School of Education - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.

School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.



A Message from the Division Director



Dear friends, colleagues, students, alumni, and partners,

I am happy to share the Division of Learning Technologies Fall 2014 newsletter with you. A surprise honor this fall was receiving the 2014 Learning! 100 Award. The Division of Learning Technologies was recognized as one of the Top 100 Learning Organizations by the editors of Elearning! Magazine. The award honors high-performance organizations that embrace collaboration and innovation, both of which are core values of our college. You can read all about it here! Division faculty also received individual awards this past year, most notably, Dr. Kevin Clark was honored in February 2014 as a White House Champion of Change! With respect to research in learning technologies, division faculty conducted cutting edge research in the areas of mobile learning, design research, teachers as designers, building technology rich teacher education, online teacher engagement and social presence, cognitive affordances of learning technologies, formal and informal learning, culturally responsive computing, and usability testing in instructional design. These research efforts resulted in numerous scholarly publications and national and international presentations, a sample of which is provided in this newsletter.


Learning Technologies faculty have also been quite active in developing new curricula and strengthening corporate, government, and school partnerships. The Integration of Online Learning in Schools master’s program is an example of a new curriculum designed to meet the needs of K-12 educators interested in learning to blend online learning with face to face practice as well as teaching in fully online learning environments. Instructional Design and Technology program faculty in collaboration with Mason’s School of Business are developing an Executive Chief Learning Officer (ECLO) graduate certificate program. We are also delivering a customized professional development course to the Foreign Service Institute language trainers, and training secondary school teachers from 20 international countries in teaching methodologies, curriculum development, education leadership, and teaching with technology.  

This year was also a graduation record! Fifty seven students graduated from the Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) and the Learning Technologies in Schools (LTS) programs. Congratulations class of 2014! Our students have also been very active, participating in teaching initiatives and instructional design internships, developing innovative technology based instructional products, and conducting research on social media use in higher education, virtual worlds and virtual learning environments, retention in MOOCs, feedback in online learning, UX (user experience) design, and students as game designers in STEM disciplines.

We would like to thank our colleagues, partners, and alumni for their continued support of our programs and initiatives and for helping us provide our students with an invaluable learning experience.


Much more news is inside so read on and stay in touch! You can also follow our news on the division’s Facebook page.


Happy Fall!


Nada Dabbagh

Fall Newsletter 2014


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Congratulations Class of 2014




PhD in Education, Learning Technologies Design Research (LTDR) Graduates:


Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Nosal, who was awarded the Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in LTDR. Dr. Nosal's dissertation title is It Figures in their Future: Assessing the Impact of EverFi, a Virtual Environment, on High School Personal Finance Learning. Committee members were Drs. Priscilla Norton, Chair; Kevin Clark and Dawn Hathaway.


Congratulations to Dr. Ghania Zgheib, who was awarded the Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in LTDR. Dr. Zgheib's dissertation title is Social Media Use in Higher Education: An Exploratory Multiple Case-Study. Committee members were Drs. Nada Dabbagh,Chair; Brenda Bannan and Anna Evmenova.


MEd in Curriculum and Instruction Graduates:

Concentration in Instructional Design and Technology (IDT)


Nazia Aslam, Melinda Babione, Filla Sofia Baliwag,Tricia Boland, Gary Bushrod, Sheila Campbell Jucha, Rana Dinmohammad Pouri, Ileana Fernandez de Paula, Laura Gerike, Edwinna Green, Roula Hickman, Susan Lanzillotta, Sung Lee, Jill MacDiarmid, Katherine Maye, Anne Millen-Martini, Michael Myers, Nkiruka Ogbuchiekwe, Sonia Palmer, Rina Patel, Ann Peniston, Denise Royer, Matthew Rufe, Maryam Sadigh-Ballay, Biff Snocker, Julie Steward, Anna Stolpe, & Ying Wang.


Concentration in Integration of Technology in Schools (ITS)


Leah Andary, Thomas Barbaro, Elizabeth Boris, Lucia Claster, Kelsey Coffin, Madison Cohen, Laura Culver, Laura Hutchison, Jeannie Jens, Melissa Johnston, Christina Lee, Teresa Lehmer, Robert Meehan, Lynn Metheny,Noel Miller, Samuel Moser, Maura Neumeister, Lisa Peters, Sara Ross, Abigail Schaaf, Stephanie Schoembs, Ashley Stout, Amy Trickett, Kevin Weaver, Robert Weaver, Caitlyn Wieland, Michele Williams, Katelyn Willoughby, & Trevor Wright


E-Learning Certificate Graduates:


Tricia Boland, Ileana Fernandez de Paula, Edwinna Green, Roula Hickman, Katherine Karras, Nkiruka Ogbuchiekwe, Sonia Palmer, Maryam Sadigh-Ballay, & Ala Showers.


Deloitte Consulting Cohort E-Learning Certificate Graduates:


Christopher Bedrossian, Rebecca Cody, Carmel Comendador, Daniel Jackson, Katherine Karras,

Lauren Rosinski, Lisa Thomson, Clayton Wilkerson, & Terry Wilson-Brox


Student News & Awards



Congratulations to Learning Technologies Program Award Winner and graduate, Tricia Boland, who was recognized for her outstanding academic achievements during the Spring 2014 CEHD Convocation Ceremony.


View video spotlighting this year's graduates from the LTS program, sisters, Sara Ross & Caitylyn Weiland.


Congratulations to IDT students Candice Bowes, Rana Dinmohammad Pouri, & Dina Saffouri who were initiated as members of Mason’s 2014 Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. READ MORE
LTDR PhD students, Maha Al-Freih & Helen Fake, participated in the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching (VCET) summer 2014 program that hosted 100 teachers from across Virginia. VCET is a CEHD initiative that offers six-day residential academies focusing on four particular areas of study: STEM; the humanities and language arts; fine arts; and interdisciplinary studies. Maha and Helen developed and delivered a workshop on Learning Technologies. READ MORE


Congratulations to IDT program graduate Ying Wang who returned to China and was successfully employed by the Direct Banking Center (DBC) of China Merchants Bank (CMB). Ying is working at the Union Office of the DBC of CMB. Her main duties are to check work proficiency of employees as well as to organize various kinds of professional development activities to improve the quality of their professional and personal life. Ying credits the IDT program for her knowledge and skills in the systematic instructional design process, how to solve problems, interact with clients, and value collaboration and teamwork.

Faculty & Academic News



Dr. Jered Borup is currently serving as a Fellow for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI). His work focuses on the professional development of on-site mentors assigned to K-12 online students. He recently added a research perspective to MVLRI's mentor guide and is currently developing professional development materials for on-site mentors. READ MORE 


Congratulations to Dr. Jered Borup who is the recipient of the 2014 Association of Educational Communications and Technology's Division of Distance Learning (AECT-DDL) Qualitative Focused Article Award.  His 1st place award winning article is “The Nature of Teacher Engagement at an Online High School” published in the British Journal of Educational Technology. The AECT-DDL awards will be announced and distributed in November during the 2014 AECT Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. READ MORE


As a Fellow for Mason's Office of Distance Education, Dr. Jered Borup worked with a team of faculty and staff to develop six learning modules, each designed to help faculty develop the skills and knowledge necessary to teach online effectively.  The modules were successfully piloted in the Summer of 2014 with 9 CEHD faculty.  Jered also leads the CEHD E-Learning Pedagogy group that presents seminars every other month on topics relevant to teaching and facilitating online courses. The next seminar will discuss strategies for nurturing online learning communities and will be held November 4, 2:00pm-3:30pm in Thompson 2007.


Dr. Kevin Clark was one of ten individuals honored on February 26, 2014 at the White House Champions of Change. The White House honors individuals and organizations working to support and accelerate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities for African American students, schools, and communities. Dr. Clark serves as the Director of the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity (CDMID) which examines issues of diversity in digital media and strategies to broaden participation in STEM disciplines and careers. READ MORE


Dr. Kevin Clark was also selected as one of twenty professors from colleges and universities nationwide by Television Academy Foundation to be immersed in the entertainment industry for a week-long seminar in Hollywood to learn from the industry's top professionals. Dr. Clark is particularly interested in using this media to reach diverse populations and meet the educational needs of traditionally underserved communities. READ MORE


Dr. Shahron Williams van Rooij participated as a member of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Committee in the selection of the new Writing Across the Curriculum director, Michelle LaFrance, Ph.D. The WAC Committee consists of a group of Mason faculty from diverse disciplines whose key mission is to promote the belief “that when students are given frequent opportunities for writing across the university curriculum, they think more critically and creatively, engage more deeply in their learning, and are better able to transfer what they have learned from course to course, context to context.” READ MORE


In the Fall 2014 semester, Dr. Shahron Williams van Rooij is teaching EDPD 504: Professional Development in Learning Technologies, an on-site professional development class custom tailored to the needs of foreign language trainers and training managers at FSI’s School of Language Studies in Arlington, VA. The purpose of the class is to provide FSI’s foreign language trainers a systematic, research-based method of designing and developing language training curricula for preparing American diplomats who are about to be posted overseas. The class contains 25 participants representing more than a dozen languages including Estonian, Turkish, Pashto, French, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Thai, German, Arabic and Russian, among others.


Dr. Kathy Bohnstedt taught EDIT 574: Social Media and Digital Collaboration Applications, Web Conferencing in the summer 2014 term. She received a PhD in Instructional and Assistive Technology from Mason and has more than 20 years' experience in instructional and information technology administration, distance education support, the design of instructional spaces, and faculty technology training and support in higher education. She has served as the Director of Classroom Technologies at Mason and as the managing editor of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. Her research interests center on the impact of technology on instructional interaction, the design of flexible learning environments, and the use of collaborative technology applications in distance education.


Dr. Patrick Gallagher is currently teaching EDIT 732: Analysis and Design of Technology-Based Learning Environments. Dr. Gallagher is a Program Director for Serco overseeing the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Technical support program. He has taught in public, private, and higher education at the K-12, community college, and graduate school levels in the areas of music, fine arts, technology, media, education, gifted education, and educational technology. Specialties include: Games and cognition, xAPI, learning science, online learning environment design, SCORM, solutions architecting, ISD, learning theories, OD and assessment.


Dr. Lisa Giacumo is a new adjunct faculty currently teaching EDIT 590: Educational Research in Technology.  She is a designer and researcher with experience in instructional systems design, online learning design, e-learning design, hybrid learning design, and face-to-face training design for childhood, adolescent, and adult learners in K-20 education, not-for-profit, and coporate sectors. Her current research interests include design based research, instructional design, scaffolding, critical thinking skills, and rubrics.


Mr. Alan Levine taught EDIT 572: Digital Audio/Video Design and Applications for the IDT program in the spring 2014.  Mr. Levine taught the course via a lens of storytelling, modeling the course after the open digital storytelling course DS106. Students published their ideas and media projects in blog sites they learned to manage. View blog site. Alan Levine explores the potential of new technologies for education. He hosted a web server on the Maricopa Community Colleges network in 1993 and has not left the web since then. He has brought innovative ideas to his work with the New Media Consortium and the University of Mary Washington and now is on his own as CogDog.It. An early proponent of blogs and RSS, Alan shares his ideas and discoveries at, writing there since 2003. Alan works from home in Strawberry, Arizona where his current interests include digital storytelling, photography, bending WordPress to his whims, and randomly dipping into the infinite river of the Internet.


Dr. Joe Provenzano is teaching EDIT 771: Overview of Digital Media which emphasizes design thinking as it relates to the implementation of various digital media for teaching, learning and training. He is an independent educational consultant whose practice focuses on instructional innovation, curriculum design, school-based technology integration, and faculty professional development. His research interests involve creating instructional environments that encourage, support, and document student thinking.


Dr. Ghania Zgheib completed her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology at George Mason University and taught EDIT 704:Instructional Technology Foundations and Theories of Learning online in the summer 2014 for the IDT program. Dr. Zheib is also full-time English as Second Language faculty at George Mason University and an instructional technology consultant for a higher education institution located abroad.



Dr. Nanchang Yang is a visiting scholar with the Division of Learning Technologies for the academic year 2014-2015. Dr. Yang is an associate professor in the Curricular and Instructional Design Research program at Jiangxi Normal University in China. He is interested in new theories of instructional design from the perspective of learning sciences. He is familiar with learning contexts in primary schools due to his experience as a primary school teacher. He has completed three research programs (Designing Effective Participant Structure in Science Classroom, Problem-based Learning in primary Math classroom, and Curriculum Design Based on Multi-Intelligences Theory) funded by Jiangxi province, China. His recent work focuses on how to integrate design and research using Design-based Research methodology to explore effective participant/social structures for students learning science, to design/develop the instructional design support system for the teacher. Since his doctoral study in the Learning Sciences Research Center in East China Normal University (2005 to 2008), he has published 1 monograph, 1 translated book, and 15 papers related to learning sciences. He hopes that these studies will contribute to the re-construction of classrooms from the transmission and acquisition style of learning and teaching to a new style based on scientific principles emerging from the learning sciences.


Division Events




Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) Students - Final Presentations


In Spring 2014, students in Dr. Brenda Bannan’s class, EDIT 752: Design and Implementation of Technology-based Learning Environments, presented their Mobile App Instructional Designs to an audience that included CEHD Dean Mark Ginsberg, LT faculty and staff, and industry partners and project clients. Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte Consulting, Carney Labs, ADL Co-Lab and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) were among those present to witness these innovative learning technology designs. READ MORE



Integration of Technology in Schools (ITS) Students - EXIT Experience


Twenty five members of the 2012-2014 Integration of Technology in Schools Master’s cohort met on May 13, 2014 to participate in the fifteenth annual Exit Experience.  They were joined by members of the CEHD faculty (Dr. Ellen Rodgers, Dr. Nada Dabbagh, Dr. Supriya Baily, and Dr. Jered Borup) and leaders from Virginia school divisions (Dr. Barbara Gruber – LCPS, Dr. Ellen Nosal – PWCS, and Virginia Hunter – LCPS, and Steve Hall - SCPS).  As the culminating event in their five semester long graduate program, these teachers presented their extensive, classroom-based technology integration research projects and engaged in a collegial discussion of teaching and learning with technology.The event was a resounding success, and the LT Division takes pride in extending congratulations to these new graduates of the ITS Master’s program.



Drs. Priscilla Norton & Dawn Hathaway provided a series of technology integration workshops as part of the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA) this past spring semester 2014.  The TEA program brings together secondary school teachers from 20 international countries and provides educational opportunities in teaching methodologies, curriculum development and education leadership as well as teaching with technology and English as a second language research, methods and assessment. As ambassadors of their country, these international educators shared their education experience and country’s culture and carried their U.S. experience to their classrooms, friends, and families. READ MORE


The Division of Learning Technologies of the College of Education and Human Development is the recipient of the 2014 Learning! 100 Award that embrace collaboration and innovation honoring high-performance organizations. Dr. Nada Dabbagh and Dr. Shahron Williams van Rooij attended the awards dinner and reception on August 25th at the Enterprise Learning! Conference in Anaheim California. We are delighted to be recognized as one of the Top 100 Learning Organizations from Public and Private Sectors and ranked #32 of the Top 40 Public Sector organizations by the editors of the Elearning! Magazine. READ MORE


Faculty Scholarly Works & Awards



Selected Publications


Bannan, B., (in press). Analyzing context for mobile augmented reality prototypes in education: promoting design research with graduate students. In J. Traxler and A. Kukulska-Hulme (Eds.) Mobile Learning: The Next Generation


Bannan, B., Cook, J. & Pachler, N. (in press). Reconceptualizing design research in the age of mobile learning. Interactive Learning Environments.


Borup, J., Graham, C. R., & Drysdale, J. (2014).  The nature of online teacher engagement an online high school. British Journal of Educational Technology. 45, 793-806. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12089


Borup, J., West, R. E., Graham, C. R., & Davies, R. (2014). The adolescent community of engagement framework: A lens for research on K-12 online learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education22, 107-129. 


Borup, J., West, R. E., Thomas, R. A., Graham, C. R. (2014). Examining the impact of video feedback on instructor social presence in blended courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning15, 232-256.


Cook, J., Bannan, B. & Santos, P. (September 2013). Seeking and scaling model for designing technology that supports personal and professional learning networks.  Proceedings of the workshop EC-TEL meet is ECSCW 2013; Workshop on Collaborative Technologies for Working and Learning. Cyprus, Greece.


Dabbagh, N., & English, M. (in press). Using student self-ratings to assess the alignment of instructional design competencies and courses in a graduate program. TechTrends.


Dabbagh, N., & Dass, S. (2013). CATS: A tool for identifying the cognitive affordances of learning technologies. Proceedings of Selected Papers On the Practice of Educational Communications and Technology. A publication of the Research and Theory Division of the Association of the Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) conference, Anaheim, California.

Hathaway, D., & Norton, P. (2014). What do teachers learn about online learning from their online professional development experiences? In M. Searson & M. Ochoa (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2014 (pp. 761-769). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.


Scott, K., Sheridan, K., & Clark, K. (2014). Culturally responsive computing: A Theory Revisited. Learning, Media, and Technology. (see attachment)


Van der Klink, M., Van der Heijden, B., Boon, J., & Williams van Rooij, S. (2014). Exploring the contribution of formal and informal learning to academic staff member employability: A Dutch perspective. Career Development International, 19(3), 337-356.


Williams van Rooij, S. (2013). Usability testing with online research panels: A case study from the field of instructional design. International Journal of e-Learning, 12(4), 403-423.


Selected Presentations


Bannan, B. & Cook, J. (September 2013). Putting the design back in design-based research: Problem seeking and scaling insights from mobile learning. University of Georgia Design-based Research Conference. Athens, GA.


Bannan, B. (December 2013). Educating the next generation of UX designers for learning technologies. MoDev East 2013, McLean, VA.


Bannan, B. (May 2014). Integrating Lean UX and User Research in a Learning Technologies Graduate Program. Presentation at the 2014 National MoDev UX conference, McLean, VA


Clark, K. (February 2014). Using STEM to create the future you want to see (Invited Blog Post). The White House Champions of Change. Available at


Scott, K., Sheridan, K., & Clark, K. (2014). Culturally responsive computing: A theory revisited. American Sociological Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.


Dabbagh, N. (October 2013). Strategically designed Personal Learning Environments (PLEs): A natural recipe for integrating formal and informal learning using social media. MobiLearnAsia 2013, October 2-3, Singapore.


Dabbagh, N., Kitsantas, A., Al-Freih, M., & Fake, H. (July 2014). Using social media to develop Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and self-regulated learning skills: A case study. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Personal Learning Environments, July 16-18, 2014, Tallinn, Estonia.

Hathaway, D. (March 2014). Building technology-rich teacher education. The First International Forum: Professional Teacher in the Third Millennium, March 16-18. King Abdulaziz University: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Hathaway, D. (March 2014). Teachers as designers: Getting your AeCTS together workshop. The First International Forum: Professional Teacher in the Third Millennium, March 16- 18. King Abdulaziz University: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Norton, P. (March 2014). What do teachers learn about online learning from their online professional development experiences? Jacksonville, FL: Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, SITE, 2012.


Williams van Rooij, S. (November 2013). Learning to learn online: A collaborative course development project. Paper presented at the AECT International Convention, Anaheim, CA.


Williams van Rooij, S. & Merkebu, J. (November 2013). Measuring the business impact of employee learning: A view from the professional services sector. Paper presented at the AECT International Convention, Anaheim, CA.


Williams van Rooij, S. & Zirkle, K. (October 2013). Balancing pedagogy, interactivity and accessibility: A faculty-IT support partnership. Paper presented at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA.


Grant Awards


African American Families’ Uses of Technology for Learning Outside of School. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2014 - 2016). Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Kevin Clark, amount: $500,000.

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Calling All Alumni

Because we would like to keep up with you after graduation, we are encouraging alumni to become part of the George Mason Alumni Directory. Everyone who graduates from George Mason is a member of the University and College Alumni Association. If you go to the Alumni Association website, you can get information on the association, events, and benefits.  The link is