Dan He

How Did You Join the ISLT Program at FSU?

In 2017, I took my final course (Learning Theories and Cognition) to earn my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at FSU. Through that course, I met Dr. Dennen and thoroughly enjoyed her teaching. I learned about the ISLT program as well. One year after, I applied for the Ph.D. program.


I’m currently a doctoral candidate in the Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies program. Before joining the Ph.D. program, I had a wide range of experiences in language education as I earned my master’s degree in Foreign and Second Languages Education at FSU. I taught English and Mandarin Chinese to adult learners from varying proficient levels. I also worked as an education coordinator, helping Chinese international students adjust to academic life in the U.S.

Aside from studying and doing research, I also make sure to give myself time to unwind by doing things like listening to audiobooks, practicing mindfulness, going for jogs, watching documentaries, playing badminton, and playing games on Nintendo switch.

Research Interests

My current research interests include international students’ use of social media for learning, inclusive online course designs, and educators’ professional development.


I’m collaborating with professors and fellow students on several research projects, including 1) graduate students’ experiences of othering, 2) networked knowledge activities, 3) educators’ professional learning networks, 4) invisible labor, and 5) graduate teaching assistants. My research and teaching endeavors are devoted to improving and fostering inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning environments.

1. Othering (2019 – current)

This research project explores graduate students’ feelings of othering, social presence, sense of belonging, and identity in online learning contexts as well as how such experiences influence their engagement and learning outcomes. The ultimate goal of this study is intended to inform instructional designers and instructors in understanding the needs of their students and creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that is conducive to learning.

2. Networked Knowledge Activity (2019 – current)

This research project aims to investigate the networked knowledge activities that individuals employ for their educational and professional development on social media. This allows us to learn more about which activities, such as share, collect, curate, broker, negotiate, construct, and network, people consider parallel in their overall purpose and which are conceptually distinct.


Dennen, V. P., Word, K., Adolfson, D., Arechavaleta, V., He, D., Hsu, C.-W., Hur, J., Jung, D., Heather, K., Russell, A., & Toth, K. (2020). Using the networked knowledge activities framework to examine learning on social networking sites. In Proceedings of the international conference on Web-based Communities and Social Media (pp. 165-172).

3. Educators’ Invisible Labor  (2020 – current)

We conducted a systematic literature review to understand how educators’ invisible labor has been considered and applied in past research from the last decade. We also synthesize the literature to propose a model depicting intersections of invisibility that mask educators’ labor. Our goal is to make educators’ invisible labor visible and promote more equitable acknowledgment and evaluation of educators’ work.

4. Educators Professional Development (2022 – current)

In this project, we interviewed and surveyed teaching professionals working in K-12 and higher education settings, aiming to explore the potential impacts of the pandemic on approaches of their professional development practices and professional learning networks from school years 2019 to 2022.

5. Graduate Teaching Assistants  (2022 – current)

We are currently conducting a systematic literature review to investigate the following: what topics have been discussed in GTA research; what are the challenges GTAs experience and have been reported; and what training programs are available to GTAs. The ultimate goal is to identify whether there are any unmet needs of GTAs and provide practical implications to support them.

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