GSE Grants Advance Student Research in Education Technology

Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Digital Learning Fellowship Program announced five grant winners this week. Each winner was awarded with a grant of up to approximately $1500 to further student research. The grant program required applicants to provide a detailed proposal for a research project aimed to promote the use of media and digital tools in education. The proposals included research initiatives submitted by GSE doctoral students.

The five awardees are Carrie Wojenski, Cheshta Khurana, Sheila Frye, Erica Holan, and Loretta Dicker.

Carrie Wojenksi, a Connecticut resident, is a doctoral student pursuing her EdD in Design of Learning Environments. She submitted a proposal for a study that analyzed the role of online interventions for study abroad students. The grant money will be used to “recruit participants and fund the purchase of my quantitative instrument, the Intercultural Development Inventory.”

Cheshta Khurana, a native of Bridgewater, New Jersey, submitted a proposal that included research of multimedia usage in classrooms. She also designed a research project that analyzed online courses. She is pursuing her PhD in literacy and hopes to graduate in May 2014. “This grant will go a long way towards achieving my research objectives. This award will allow me to get better insight of various variables that contribute towards knowledge construction in online forums. Also, this research will help identify the best teaching practices in an online environment that supports cognitive and social presence,” said Khurana.

Sheila Frye resides in Montclair, NJ, and is pursuing her EdD with the 2010 Cohort Program in Design of Learning Environment. Ms. Frye submitted her research on the process that children engage with, and the pedagogical effects of interactive eBook applications, on children’s reading. She hopes to “improve design interventions to help learners make meaning and build knowledge” by examining the impact the interactive feature of new technology has on user comprehension.

Erica Holan from Cranford, NJ, is pursuing her PhD in Literacy. Her research focused on the use of video game technology in a classroom setting and its influence on the learning of students. Ms. Holan said that the use of video games in a classroom setting has been disputed amongst teachers and administrative figures for years. Her goal is to “connect students’ out-of-school habits with their in-school habits.”

Grantee Loretta Dicker, from Galloway, New Jersey, is a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education. She is pursuing her EdD in Math Education. Her research proposal involved the creation of a digital math after-school club for students.  The awards offered to her will be used to “stimulate the first cohort of teachers to continue to engage students with ‘Virtual Math Teams with GeoGebra’ beyond the requirements of their professional development courses.”

The Digital Learning Fellowship Program is accepting another round of grant proposals for GSE students. The applications are due March 1, 2013. For more information, please visit