Dr. Bret Staudt Willet
I am an Assistant Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies at Florida State University. My preferred pronouns are he/him/his.
At different times and in different parts of my professional life, I take on roles of researcher, educator, and consultant. In each of these roles, I aspire to embody culturally sustaining practices.
My research investigates self-directed learning, a subset of informal and networked learning. I am fascinated by how people figure things out on their own. I’m most interested in what happens when students, learners, and trainees finish formal instruction, preparation, and training. What do they do after they walk out the door or log off? How do they continue to develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities? Where do they look for resources? Who do they talk to?
I am interested in how self-directed learners navigate the affordances and constraints of social connections through the internet and exploration through games.
I frequently investigate self-directed learning with the tools of educational data science, including learning analytics, social network analysis, discourse analysis, natural language processing, and educational data mining.
I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology & Educational Technology, a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology, and a Graduate Certificate in Serious Game Design & Research from Michigan State University, as well as a dual bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Sociology from Bucknell University.
I am a Ph.D. student in the Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies (ISLT) program at Florida State University College of Education. I earned my master’s degree in elementary mathematics education at Seoul National University of Education in Seoul, Korea.
My current research focuses on educators’ use of social media. Specifically, I investigate how and why early career teachers (including pre-service teachers) participate in online communities for their professional learning, and how to leverage the affordances of social media to support their professional development. Related to the use of social media for learning, I am also interested in Scratch where students can develop computational thinking skills online. Viewing Scratch as an online community for students, I explore how students’ interactions are related to developing their computational thinking skills. Designing immersive learning environments for STEM+CS education is my other research interest. Specifically, I am interested in designing Augmented Reality learning experiences for mathematics and computer science education, and understanding teachers’ role in integrating immersive technology in classroom contexts.
I graduated with my M.S. in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies at FSU, and now I am a Ph.D. student in the same program.
I studied Educational Technology and worked as an instructional designer at a company in South Korea. I developed instructional materials for K-12 students and teachers’ guidebooks. During my internships in the US, I created e-learning modules and reviewed the online course based on Quality Matters. I love instructional design and my teaching assistant jobs since I can assist instructors and learners with attractive deliverables while expressing my creativity and professionalism.
I am interested in instructors’ and learners’ engagement in online teaching and learning in higher education. Learners’ motivation and participation are essential to learning experience and outcomes. Given that online courses should be carefully and systematically designed to provide an optimal learning experience, I hope to investigate instructional strategies and interventions to boost student engagement.
I am currently involved in projects on instructors’ perception of students’ participation, students’ feelings of othering, webcam usages, college students’ social media use and emotion, teaching assistants’ challenges and training needs, and instructional designers’ perception and experiences in learning analytics. I also plan to examine students’ minimal participation, TAs’ self-efficacy, online memes, and students’ motivation and emotions using epistemic network analysis (ENA).
I am a Ph.D. student in the Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies (ISLT) program at Florida State University College of Education.
My research interest integrated instructional design, game-based learning, and learning analytics in training and professional development for graduate teaching assistants (GTA) in higher education. My current focus is designing and applying game-based adaptive training environments for GTA teaching preparation and professional development. I am conducting individual research and working collaboratively with my peers on this topic. I have been working as the TA for online courses in our department for the past semesters; meanwhile, I have been working with my advisor Dr. Fengfeng Ke on several NSF-funded projects in game-based mathematical education in K-12 settings. My current research agenda for my dissertation consists of 1. The study of game-based adaptive training design for GTA (ongoing), 2. Learning analytics in GTA informal learning in the online community of practice (Co.P.), 3. The application of learning analytics results in the iteration of adaptive training design for GTAs.
Before joining the ISLT Ph.D. program in 2021, I gained two Master’s degrees in Second Language Education (2015) and Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies (2020) from FSU.