“People First, Content Second, Technology Third:” Pedagogy After the Pandemic

Vanessa Dennen - head shot

Education Scholar Vanessa Dennen to Speak at Provost's Forum

Vanessa Dennen, Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies at Florida State University, will speak at the UC Davis Forum on Higher Education and the Public Good this Monday, March 8 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm.

Dennen, whose research focuses on the cognitive, motivational, and social elements of computer-mediated communication, will discuss the value in capturing and continuing the best of the new skills and practices developed during the pandemic response, and share a vision for how higher education can leverage flexibility and technology to offer high quality relevant, student-centered learning experiences.

With a return to in-person instruction on the horizon, the forum opens a key current question in higher education.

When [Provost Croughan] asked me to think of somebody who would help guide our conversations about coming out of the pandemic and maybe not leaving absolutely everything about remote instruction behind us, in a really intelligent way, I immediately thought of Vanessa Dennen,” said Interim Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Cynthia Carter Ching, who will moderate the forum.

Dennen’s research investigates the learner engagement in online discussion activities; identity development, knowledge management, and knowledge brokering within online networks and communities of practice; and ethical issues related to computer-mediated learning.  

Citing Dennen’s motto of “People first, content second, technology third,” Ching notes that “We have a tendency to think about remote education in relation to those second two things – content and technology.” Ching said. “Vanessa’s approach is fundamentally humanitarian.”

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