Our Faculty

Researchers from a variety of backgrounds bring a wide range of knowledge, needed to address tomorrow’s challenges.

Tom Dana

Thomas (Tom) Dana, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Tom Dana, Ph.D. is the Director of the Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies, a Professor of Education and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education at the University of Florida. Prior to joining the dean’s office in 2008, he held the post of director (chair) of the School of Teaching and Learning for five years.  He led the college’s effort in creating models and support systems to launch and grow distance learning programs. 

Pavlo (Pasha) Antonenko, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, College of Education and Director, Educational Neuroscience Lab

Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Director of the NeurAL Lab in the School of Teaching and Learning. His research has been funded by state and federal agencies and focuses on developing, implementing, and studying technologies for scaffolding learning. 

Anthony Botelho

Anthony F. Botelho, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Anthony Botelho, Ph.D. is an expert in developing and deploying technology to study student learning across educational contexts. His research combines theory, methodologies, and application across fields including education, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science. He has leveraged quantitative methodologies including learning analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing to study  constructs of learning in online and classroom settings. 

Kara Dawson, Ph.D.

Professor, College of Education

Kara Dawson, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. Her scholarship focuses on the ways educational technologies influence teaching and learning within the contexts of K-12 education and online post-secondary environments. She has published over 100 articles in various journals and has also secured over 3 million dollars in external funding.

Maya Israel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, College of Education

Maya Israel, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. She is also the research director at the Creative Technology Research Lab. Dr. Israel’s research focuses on strategies for supporting students with disabilities and other struggling learners’ meaningful engagement in STEM with emphases on computational thinking, computer science education, and Universal Design for Learning. 

Swapna Kumar, Ed.D. 

Clinical Associate Professor, College of Education

Swapna Kumar, Ed.D. is a clinical associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on the integration of technology for teaching and learning in higher education. Her research interests include the design, implementation, facilitation and quality of online professional programs; online mentoring; and open online education.

Bojan Lazarevic, Ph.D. 

Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Education

Bojan Lazarevic, Ph.D. has an educational background in instructional technology with an emphasis on online learning, media development and emerging technologies. Currently, he is a principal researcher for the following two projects: a) VR Across Disciplines and b) Facilitating Community of Inquiry through Screencasting and Video Announcements. The project VR Across Disciplines is focused on identifying effective teaching practices in using VR devices and immersive media in areas such as medicine, natural sciences, mathematics, business, language learning, sociology, art, marketing and education. 

Walter Leite

Walter Leite, Ph.D.

Professor, College of Education

Walter Leite, Ph.D. is a Professor of Research and Evaluation Methodology. His research explores methods to evaluate the effects of student and teacher use of virtual learning environments. He specializes in applying structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, propensity score methods, and machine learning tools to estimate direct, indirect and moderated effects of virtual learning environments.

Rob Moore

Rob Moore, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Rob Moore, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology. His research analyzes online learning environments, focusing on massive open online courses (MOOCs), to identify ways to improve student learning in those contexts. He is particularly interested in leveraging learning analytics to ensure that online learning environments offer similar critical thinking and engagement levels as in face-to-face instruction.

Nigel Newbutt

Nigel Newbutt, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Nigel Newbutt, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology. His research focuses on  developing technologies with autistic, and underserved groups. Dr. Newbutt’s current focus is examining and developing the role that VR HMDs can play in supporting young people with autism in their daily lives; informed through their input. He is also interested in developing a range of innovative technologies that can help to enable people with neurodiversity.

Seyedahmad Rahimi

Seyedahmad (Ahmad) Rahimi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Seyedahmad Rahimi, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Educational Technology in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. Dr. Rahimi’s research focuses on assessing and fostering students’ 21st-century skills and STEM-related knowledge acquisition. Toward that end, Dr. Rahimi designs, develops, and evaluates immersive learning environments (e.g., educational games) equipped with stealth assessment and educational data mining and learning analytics models.

Albert Ritzhaupt, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, College of Education and Associate Director, Graduate Studies

Albert Ritzhaupt, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Computer Science Education, and the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. His primary research areas focus on the design, development, utilization, and evaluation of theory-inspired, technology-enhanced learning environments; teaching practices and instructional strategies; operationalizing and measuring technology integration in education; and the professional competencies of individuals in the field of educational technology.

Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, College of Education

Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Florida in the in the School of Teaching and Learning’s Educational Technology program. An award-winning researcher and developer, his design-based research focuses on three-dimensional virtual learning environments, mobile learning, and online learning interventions. In the design and evaluation of these technologies, Dr. Schmidt applies reflexive inquiry using a variety of design-based methodological approaches such as design-based research, learner/user experience design, design thinking, rapid prototyping, etc.

Jinnie Shin

Jinnie Shin, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Jinnie Shin, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Research and Evaluation Methodology in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education within the College of Education at the University of Florida. She has expertise in application of theory-based natural language processing and learning analytics in education research. In her work, she has focused on investigating how to bridge the gap between psychometric analysis and artificial intelligence in education research. 

Wanli Xing, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, College of Education

Wanli Xing, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the in the School of Teaching and Learning’s Educational Technology program. His research focuses on how emerging technologies can deeply transform STEM education and online learning. He creates learning environments using cutting-edge technologies, such as computer simulations and modeling, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and augmented reality to support learning in diverse classrooms and online environments.