Welcome! On this site, you will find some of my work. It should not take long to discover that I have a wide variety of interests and see connections across a variety of traditional fields of scholarship.
I am an Assistant Professor of English and core faculty in the Texts and Technology Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida. My work focuses on Technical Communication, UX, and beyond. Common threads in my research are learning and fun–I make and study interactive learning environments from Twine choose-your-own-adventure narratives to immersive language learning VR games, and just about everything in between. I do quantitative and qualitative research, and generally prefer mixed methods to help understand multiple sides of the research questions.
A former middle school Language Arts teacher, my philosophy has always been that “learning that’s fun is fun!” When learners are actively engaged, they can more effectively learn. My middle school students were my first playtesters, kindling my desire to learn more about interactive media and its affordances for communication and learning.
My games and my research have evolved quite a bit since my early classroom experiments with role play and PowerPoint hyperlinks. BeadED Adventures uses a Makey Makey controller and jars painted with conductive paint to create a one-of-a-kind interface for a STEM learning adventure game in Twine. I’ve collaborated with a number of undergraduates at UCF to develop several platforms of ELLE the EndLess LEarner, a second language acquisition game that is currently playable on mobile, AR, PC, and VR platforms! ELLE currently teaches vocabulary terms in Portuguese but is able to accommodate just about any language.
My most recent publication is a book coauthored by Anastasia Salter where we discuss the pros, cons, and potential of game-based, playful learning in the classroom. Check it out!