More than anything, I care about getting learning right. I helped Udacity develop Nanodegrees. I helped Udemy re-design its UI for better engagement. And I've helped dozens of startups think through their customer-facing products. Now I'm helping develop people and products as VP of Learning at Andela
What if you wanted to change people's behavior for the better? I love helping product managers talk through onboarding flows and discover all the ways to support people in learning to use a product to improve their lives. Working with product owners at health, education, transportation, and energy startups, I've brainstormed and designed web, mobile, and augmented reality workflows to train customers into using complex and new devices and products to live happier, longer, more productive lives.
What if you wanted to re-invent professional education? Your primary resources: an online learning platform and strong ties to famous tech companies. Solution: find the top experts in Silicon Valley and capture their expertise for delivery in 6 month degree-granting opportunities. Working with Sebastian, Vish, Kathleen, Stuart, and Salwa, I designed and launched the curriculum, assessment, and community support frameworks for Nanodegrees. Now they offer thousands around the world the chance to change their lives and careers.
What if you wanted to re-think how people engage in online learning? Your primary resources: a global community of aspiring online teachers and promising learners. Solution: invent new ways for people to interact with digital video, create a UI to help millions of people from different cultures and educational backgrounds perform learning-rich tasks like: reflection, practice, and community engagement. Working with Erin, Steve, Claire, Nik, and Jess, I researched and developed several UI techniques for learners to manage their attention and learn from online videos on multiple platforms and in multiple countries.
I use research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and the learning sciences to help people develop their abilities to effectively lead teams and projects of increasing scope and complexity.
Technical skills are required in every career. We must design our work environments and choose our tools to embrace technology, problem solving, and strategic thinking. By developing our technical skills, we can master the jobs and tools of a modern, global workforce.
Enabling a great team culture is one way to achieve individual and community uplift. By understanding and refining complex human systems, identity, and behavior, we can enhance workgroups, product teams, and the people that fuel them both locally and globally.
I speak publicly on the Learning Sciences, Professional Training and Development, Human Cogntition, Educational Psychology, Gamification, and Social Transformation.
I study live learning environments in order to design better ones. Using research methods developed by ethnographers, neuroscientists, sociologists, and psychologists, I blend qualitative and quantitative analysis to quickly identify the most influential variables and alter them. By conducting these microstudies, I can deploy improvements while continuing to research their effectiveness. This leads to research and development that is both iterative and extensible. A few examples are included below.
In this paper, I propose research that aims to help computer programming instructors achieve three outcomes: to better prepare students for future employment as software developers, to diversify both the current academic population and the existing professional population of computer programmers, to improve individual student learning, performance, enrollment, confidence, and enjoyment.Read More >
Here I describe my findings while participating as a student observer in a three month long web development training program. I found that while attempting to learn web development knowledge, skills, and practices, students and their instructors co-create common verbal references that serve to bundle learned concepts and behaviors, maintain classroom norms, and generate a sense of cooperation and community.Read More >
In this paper, I propose a method for predicting the strategies novice web developers learn and adopt based on their network connections. I begin by describing the specific bounded network I propose to study: a learning organization that trains prospective web developers using instruction, mentorship, and community engagement. I suggest a method of data collection that will allow researchers to observe this network over the course of three months.Read More >
In this paper, I explore the topic of web development in an effort to characterize the nature of knowledge and expertise within the domain. I interviewed subjects with varying amounts of experience, asking them to perform two tasks designed to make their knowledge (and how they applied it) observable. I then use the concept of knowledge holons to describe the process by which web developers compress and apply knowledge in order to perform various tasks.Read More >
Here I examine the high failure rate in introductory higher education computer programming courses and its potential link to the challenges students encounter while transitioning from natural language to computer language. I show how two specific visualization tools (algorithm visualization technology and contextualized media computation) can be used to ease this transition, improve course pass rates, and legitimately prepare students for future employment as professional programmers.Read More >
I argue that K-12 teachers must consider the developmental theories of Piaget and Vygotsky when designing their curricula. I draw on recent research analyzing the transition from arithmetic to algebra, and my own experience as a high school algebra teacher. I make a case for algebra teachers to shift their focus to development-centered curriculum, starting with an assessment of each student’s conceptual understanding of arithmetic and their socio-culturally defined relationship with mathematical thinking.Read More >
I am continuously fascinated by how people learn. How do we pick up new skills, acquire knowledge, and apply our learning to our personal and professional lives? My curiosity and expertise have taken me to classrooms, boardrooms, podiums, and online platforms with one prime directive: to decode and design environments for the transmission of thought, knowledge, and behavior. Currently, I'm serving as VP of Learning at Andela, building online courses like The Delta Program, and spearheading the development of a cross-cultural learning platform for the international non-profit Global Playground. Connect with me and let's discover how we can impact the world.