Kari Word

How Did You Join the ISLT Program at FSU?

In 2009, during my masters degree in Educational Technology at the University of Texas -Brownsville (now known as Rio Grande Valley) I learned about instructional design and the Florida State University program. After transitioning into a job in instructional design from teaching in 2013, I wanted to know more, do more, and grow so I started researching doctoral programs. After visiting FSU in 2017, I knew that the ISLT program ended up being the best fit for me. With every interaction I had prior, during, and after, I felt a connection to the people, the program, and the location. To top it off everything else just fell into place perfectly allowing me to move to and start my coursework in Tallahassee in 2018.


With over 10 years of hospitality experience, 5 years teaching math at Title 1 middle schools, and over 10 years of instructional design experience, I currently offer consulting and contract work to clients through my own company, Instructional Design Studio LLC. I am also passionate about staying involved with various academic and practitioner communities in the field.

Research Interests

My research interests include informal learning, online learning, onboarding, and knowledge management.

  • Informal Learning: Learning that occurs outside of the K12, Higher Ed, or Corporate training formal setting. It usually occurs from casual conversations, reading books and listening to podcasts, and googling information online. I enjoy researching how frequently we are learning informally without even realizing and knowing especially how it can support formal learning.
  • Online Learning: Learning online, when done right, can be just as effective and sometimes more effective than in-person learning. I am passionate about studying these areas to expose people to how this can be true and remove the negative stigma around online learning.
  • Onboarding Experiences: When an employee starts a new job or a student starts taking classes for the first time or at a new college, how the employer/college handles the experience can impact the longevity and succesfulenes of the relationship.
  • Knowledge Management


  1. Exploring the informal learning support networks of endometriosis active patients. Advisor: Dr. Vanessa Dennen. This dissertation will explore the self-directed informal learning networks that endometriosis patients use to learn about their conditions both offline and online.
  2. Webacams at work: A survey of learning professionals’ practices and perceptions. Dennen, V.P., Word, K.D., and Arslan, O. This research report presents highlights from a survey of 514 learning professionals conducted during Spring 2021. Findings address frequency, comfort, and enjoyment of virtual meetings; transactional distance and webcam use; comfort using webcams across different contexts; factors that influence webcam use; and multi-tasking behaviors.



Social Media

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kariword/


The CV file can be found on the personal website.

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